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Eqalugaq - Polar cod response to climate change in High Arctic vs Low Arctic regions


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Marine ecosystems
Project topic
Fish and shellfish

Project details

Science / project plan

Polar cod (Boreogadus saida) is a key species in Arctic marine ecosystems. Depending on the regions, climate change may be beneficial or detrimental to polar cod populations. The present study will focus on polar cod populations in two contrasted regions of Greenland: the Greenland Sea and southern Baffin Bay. The main research questions will be: 1) Are polar cod more abundant in one of the region, 2) What is the relative importance of temperature on the recruitment of polar cod in both regions? 3) How is the zooplankton abundance and composition affecting the feeding success and survival of age-0 polar cod in each region? Then, with temporal trends in local temperature and zooplankton assemblages, we will try to forecast how polar cod will likely respond to ongoing changes in their environment.

The project we will use data and samples collected in one High Arctic region and one Low Arctic region of Greenland to better understand the response of polar cod to climate change. The objectives are: 1) to document the distribution and abundance of age-0 and adult polar cod in the Greenland Sea in 2017 and in southern Baffin Bay in 2020; 2) to study spatial patterns of polar cod recruitment in these two regions; and 3) to determine the physical and biological drivers behind these patterns.