Vol.28, No.04. 2017
Table of Contents
The Arctic is one of the most sensitive regions that respond through feedback to global climate changes. Climatic, hydrological and ecological changes in the Arctic are clear evidence of global warming. In 2012 and 2014, the 5th and 6th Chinese National Arctic Research Expeditions undertook studies in the Bering Sea, the Arctic Ocean (including the Chukchi Sea), and the Norwegian Sea. These studies provided us with a better understanding of the marine biology and ecology in the Arctic and subarctic regions, particularly in the Pacific Arctic sector. Rapid changes observed in the Arctic environment include the shrinking of cold-water masses in the Bering Sea in the summer, and elevated water temperatures promoting phytoplankton blooms, leading to an increase in phytoplankton transferred to higher trophic levels. As a result, the transfer efficiency of organic matter toward the bottom weakened, leading to a reduction in benthic biomass. This is consistent with expectations that the overall carbon and energy flux will ultimately switch from the dominant mode of sea ice–algae–benthos to one of phytoplankton–zooplankton. Influenced by Pacific water inflow, fluvial runoff and melting sea ice, the Chukchi Sea exhibited different responses to various environmental changes. Interactions between water masses led to other interannual ecological shifts. With the increase in sea ice melt and sunlight in the central region of the Arctic Ocean, the relative abundance of heterotrophic bacteria is expected to increase, and play a vital role in the Arctic microbial loop.
Citation: Li H, Lin L S, Song P Q, et al. Advances in Chinese Arctic and subarctic research in marine biology and ecology with emphasis on the Pacific Arctic sector. Adv Polar Sci, 2017, 28 (2): 111-119, doi:10.13679/j.advps.2017.2.00111