Project Aim

Polar ecosystems are dramatically affected by and respond to environmental changes including especially climate change. New habitats are being formed due to fast glacial retreats. Changes affect the structure and function of the aquatic ecosystems and their contribution to global biogeochemical cycles.

Food web structure and function is among the most dramatically affected ecosystem properties. Thus, understanding their dynamics has crucial importance. With this project, using novel methods to better understand Antarctic food webs and elucidate the effects of recent environmental changes on the Antarctic food webs.

This project aims at characterizing Antarctic food webs in selected aquatic (freshwater and coastal) ecosystems experiencing a dramatic climate change, by using extensive analyses of current and sediment samples. Obtaining a long core for palaeoecological analyses, to determine both the recent environmental changes of the polar environment as well as the response of the aquatic ecosystems and food webs to these changes is aimed.

Sample Sites

This project will be highly instrumental to bring together a team with international competitiveness in biodiversity, ecology and food web of Antarctica as well as to train new researchers in the Antarctic research. The project will help to enrich the international knowledge on the Antarctic food webs and novel information will be produced on trophic ecology of top consumers, especially those with very little information. Ecological and palaeoecological studies on lakes in Antarctica are extremely limited due to logistical difficulties and limitation of the study sites. Therefore, if obtained during the project, the long cores will shed light on the recent changes in the Antarctic Peninsula and the effects of these changes on the Antarctic ecosystem.

This project is funded by TUBITAK under the 1001 Program with the project number 118Y330.

Posted by antartika web on 11.10.2019 under