STRESSOR

How multiple stressors affect zooplankton and fish resources

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Stressors of zooplankton and larval fish

The Stressor project is an international collaboration between researchers in Norway and China. We study the stressors that affect zooplankton and fish. Stressors are factors that have a negative impact on an ecosystem. 

 

Our researchers focus on two study regions: the heavily populated Guandong region on the South China Sea and the waters off Lofoten, Vesterålen, and Troms in Northern Norway.

We study the physical conditions in the ocean and how the eddy formation affects:

  • the distribution of nutrients

  • the biological processes associated with phytoplankton dynamics

  • shoals and swarm formation of small crustaceans (structure of zooplankton) 

  • the energy transfer in the ecosystem

All of the above processes are related to natural and anthropogenic stressors. 

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Study Locations

Meso-scale eddies outside Lofoten are well known by local fishermen and were described in the Carta Marina as early as 1693. These eddy structures are typical of the marine systems outside Northern Norway and the South China Sea.

The two study regions have similarities, such as:

  • characterized as high-productive marine areas on the shelf and continental slopes that lead down to the deep sea 

  • are traditional fisheries with great importance for the local population and the regions 

  • have large local, regional, and international maritime traffic

In addition, both regions are affected by climate change, pollution and noise from marine traffic, fisheries and harvesting on several trophic levels, and petroleum activity. The shelf areas outside China are also affected by pollution from the big cities.

New technology for stressor research

The study areas have a typical transfer of energy up the food chain. The energy is in the form of a marine lipid, a fat, that is consumed by predators. First a bloom of phytoplankton is eaten by the herbivorous zooplankton, such as Calanus and krill. Next, zooplankton are eaten by predatory fish. The process continues through the ecosystem to larger fish to mammals and seabirds.

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Our research vessels are equipped with modern technology, such as autonomous platforms called gliders. The gliders are designed to collect specific biological or physical data.

To study zooplankton and fish larvae in the upper water layer, the gliders are equipped with newly developed echo sounders.

Other gliders collect data from the surface to 1000 meters deep to study ocean currents and eddies. These gliders are equipped with sensors to record temperature and salinity data of the eddies and ocean currents.

STRESSOR

Location

Lofoten-Vesterålen and Troms, Norway

Guandong region, China

Years

2019 - 2021

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Stressor is an international research project looking at mesoscale eddies and copepods and more.

 

Stressor is financed by the National Science Foundation of China and the Norwegian Research Council.

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Emlyn Davis

Senior Research Scientist

SINTEF Ocean

Norway

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Geir Pedersen

Researcher

Institute of Marine Research

Norway

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Ziyuan Hu

Associate Researcher

Institute of Oceanography

Chinese Academy of Sciences

China

Core Members

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Sünnje Basedow

Leader

UiT The Arctic University of Noway
Norway

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Meng Zhou

Professor

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

China 

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David McKee

Senior Lecturer

University of Strathclyde

Scotland 

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Ji Li

Associate Professor

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

China 

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Ole Anders Nøst

 

Senior Scientist

Akvaplan-Niva

Norway

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Kanchana Bandara

 

Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Tromsø

Norway

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Nicolas Gosset

Phd Candidate

University of Tromsø

Norway

Partners

Visiting researchers, PhD Candidates, and students

from our partner institutions have contributed to the Stressor project

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