Hausgarten/FRAM (Frontiers in Arctic Marine Monitoring)



Sampling stations in the Hausgarten observatory: Experimental sites (red circles), mooring sites (black triangles)
Sampling stations in the Hausgarten observatory: Experimental sites (red circles), mooring sites (black triangles)

The Hausgarten deep sea observatory was established in the Fram Strait in 1998 to study long-term processes and diversity changes in the plankton and benthos.  The Fram Strait essentially forms a connection between Arctic and Antlantic waters and due to the Fram Straits importance for global ocean circulation, it is vital to understand the physical but also biological dynamics of this important area in a time of rapid climate change.

The observatory comprises several important time series of plankton, meio, macro and megafauna but also bacterial communities in the deep sea sediment (since 1999) and particle fluxes from the water column to the benthos (using sediment traps). The Hausgarten observatory is also an integral component of the FRAM project in which a range of new technologies for sustained, (semi) autonomous observations will greatly extend the scope of ocean observations in the Fram Strait. This will facilitate detailed insights into the long-term biodiversity dynamics of the area and how they are linked to physico-chemical conditions. 

The Hausgarten is well-connected in a series of national an international collaborations and has also been registered as an official LTER site. 

Emerging Time series

The installation of a molecular microbial observatory for long term observation of marine microbial communities is among the major tasks of the polar infrastructure development project FRAM (FRontiers in Arctic Marine Monitoring).

This will be accomplished by combining the latest automated sampling technology with cutting edge molecular analyses. Novel sampling approaches include automated in situ water sampling, automated filtration and extraction of under-way surface samples, and the installation of an on-board Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) capable of detecting selected microbial key organisms by quantitative PCR. As an integral component of FRAM the molecular microbial observatory will generate data on the structure of Arctic marine microbial communities with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. The microbial observatory will provide long-term information and a holistic view of microbial vertical connectivity within the Arctic. Particular attention will be placed on assessing the contribution of small cells, imperceptible with traditional techniques, to export processes in the Arctic.