Ecophysiology of pelagic key species

Antarctic krill (Photo: Carsten Pape)

Polar pelagic key species have a strong impact on ecosystem functioning in polar marine systems. On the one hand they have a central position in the polar marine foodweb by linking primary production to higher tropic levels up to apex predators. On the other hand they can play a key function in channelling biogenic carbon from surface waters into the ocean's interior and seafloor. Using key pelagic organisms as model organisms is a suitable approach to understand and predict organism shifts and ecosystem response in polar pelagic ecosystems under current and future climate change scenarios.