We are back to Svalbard! After the pandemic-related break we returned to Kongsfjorden. In the frame of the EU H2020 project FACE-IT we study the impact of terrestrial sedimental run-off on underwater light climate, light availablity and, consequently, photosynthesis, productivity and vertical distribution of seaweeds. We will also collect kelp samples for comparative analyses of biochemical and genomic profiles across the various FACE-IT study sites. Furthermore, we contribute to surveys of the seaweed-associated fauna.
We are back at Kongsfjorden. In the current summer campaign we will focus on the interactive effects of radiation, temperature, salinity and nutrient concentration on seaweed ecophysiology. For Nora Diehl the studies at Kongsfjorden represent the northernmost station of her large-scale project on the impact of heatwaves on the kelp Saccharina latissima along its latitudinal range of distribution. On Svalbard, Johanna Marambio conducts those experiments on temperature and light interaction on the brown seaweed Desmarestia aculeata and the red Palmaria palmata, which she is going to repeat in Antarctica in December 2020. The comparison of related species from regions with different climate history will allow for insights into the evolutionary base of physiologial adaptation strategies.