In the polar regions, microscopic algae inhabit the shallow sediment (microphytobenthos) and are extremely important in terms of primary production, sediment biogeochemistry and ecology.

In determining the effects of climate change, most studies focused on single-factor or single-species experiments. Hence, there is a general lack of experimental designs testing the interplay of abiotic factors on natural communities. No information on interactive effects of temperature and increased CO2 on the production and community structure of polar microphytobenthos is available to date. Therefore, the researchers will carry out a multi-factorial experiment on early successional communities of microphytobenthos at Potter Cove, King George Island, in order to indicate the most important drivers for microbial community structure.

Principal investigator

Anders Torstensson
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg