Náttúra og náttúrutilfeingi
Pelagic-benthic coupling on the Faroe Shelf
Høgni Hammershaimb Debes
Sólvá Jacobsen, Gunnvør á Norði og Jens Tang Christensen
Stuðul úr Granskingargrunninum:
Original: The Faroe Shelf holds a distinct ecosystem that is separated from those in the surrounding oceanic environment. Studies at the Faroe Marine Research Institute (FAMRI) during the last 20 years has revealed an unusually clear interannual relationship between several tropic levels. Primary production, Zooplankton, Small planktivorous fish, and demersal fish and seabirds. The ecosystem is remarkably well suited for ecological studies and for ecosystem based management of its resources.
Until present, all ecological research on the Faroe shelf has been focused on the pelagic environment, and this part of the ecosystem is well described. However, when considering the role of the seabed in the ecosystem, virtually no knowledge exists.
This pilot project will be the first to relate the seabed on the Faroe Shelf to primary production and hydrographical conditions. The study will give insight on carbon input to the seabed, sediment resuspension and relocation, carbon cycling, and nutrient regeneration, and burial rates in the sediment. The study will also give insight on food sources and trophic levels of various faunal groups and sediment types. Combined with ongoing research in the water column, this information will give insight on the pelagic-benthic coupling and its temporal and spatial variability in the Faroe shelf ecosystem.
Final: The objective with the project was to investigate the coupling between the pelagic and the benthic ecosystem on the Faroe Shelf. This project is the first of its kind dealing with pelagic-benthic coupling on the Faroe Shelf, and must therefore be considered as a pilot-project.
We consider the project successful. In the beginning we had some small problems e.g. regarding sampling on the most shallow stations, but other than this everything has been going as planned.
It is difficult to come to any final conclusions in this project, but our results indicate a closer pelagic-benthic coupling on the shallower stations on the shelf compared to the deeper stations outside the shelf-front. The results also reveal how the sediment on the bottom changes with depth and that stable-isotopes are a powerful tool in investigating food-transfer through the food-chain. These are all results that will greatly benefit a potential future study into the same topic on the Faroe Shelf.
á Norði, G., Debes, H., Christensen, J.T. 2013.: Pelagic-benthic coupling on the Faroe shelf: A pilot study. Havstovan nr. 13-05