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Non-belspo (2002-2006)

Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES) on the thieme of microbial communities

Project description

The CASES subprogram on microbial communities will examine the microbial communities and processes which characterise the two types of environment, and the implications for community structure and organic matter processing under the two polynya scenarios (P1 and P2). The partners will measure rates of microbial heterotrophy to assess the phototrophic-heterotrophic balance across the study region and will examine the size distribution and particle association of microheterotrophs (including protists) that influence the fate of microbial production. They will determine the temporal variations in microbial community structure (viruses, bacteria, picocyanobacteria and protists) that are likely to affect organic matter fluxes; these measurements will be conducted at weekly intervals at the polynya and delta sites, with two synoptic transects that will include sampling across the freshwater-saltwater transition of the Mackenzie River. They will experimentally evaluate the influence of light (open water versus ice cover) on microbial community structure and processes; and the relative importance of viral lysis versus microzooplankton grazing on the picoplankton as two mechanisms of organic matter processing that regulate the offshore export of particulate carbon.

In this theme, the Ulg laboratory studies the genetic diversity of picocyanobacteria found in the McKenzie River, its estuary and the Arctic Sea. A 3-month travel grant from the ESF programme CYANOFIX allowed Dr M. Waleron to work on this subject.

Complementary resources about this scientific project

Project team

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Warwick Vincent (Laval U, Québec)

Involved Belgian research groups:

  • Partner 1: Canadian Collaborators: Demers, Miller, Suttle
  • Partner 2: Foreign Collaborators: Deming (USA), Dickson (USA), Rysgaard (DEN), Lancelot (BEL), Pedrós-Alió (SPA), Sherr B. (USA), Sherr E. (USA), Wilmotte (BEL), Yager (USA)

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