Influence of global warming

We study if and how anthropogenic environmental change (especially global warming) influences the production and interaction of species. In Arctic and Antarctic regions global warming has reduced ice coverage in winter, leading to extended periods of photosynthetic activity for marine macroalgae and decreasing mechanical disturbance through ice-scour. Simultaneously, sediment input by melting glaciers is enhanced. Both processes have major impacts on polar macroalgae. Areas which were formerly ice covered, are now colonized and the overall biomass of macroalgae is increasing thereby adding to a food source for consumers of higher trophic levels. Concurrently, increased sedimentation reduces the lower depth limit and has a negative impact on recruitment of local macroalgal species.