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Climate change and life in the Southern Ocean
Date:11/27/2007

as some of the results revealed, the krill's seasonal survival mechanisms show large regional variation, so extrapolations from local studies to a wider area are hardly possible. For this reason, the research project LAKRIS (Lazarev Sea Krill Study) will be a detailed investigation into the life cycle, distribution and physiology of krill populations in the Lazarev Sea. According to existing information, krill is very abundant in this area. "In this case also, our primary question of interest is the krill's ability to adapt to potential environmental changes", explains Ulrich Bathmann the connection to climate research. The LAKRIS study will complement similar large-scale investigations in other regions of the Antarctic.

While the continental shelf regions surrounding Antarctica are relatively well known, the Antarctic deep sea remains practically unexplored. Large areas of the seafloor around Antarctica, however, are deep-sea environments. Led by Prof Dr Angelika Brandt of the Zoological Institute of the University of Hamburg the third expedition project, ANDEEP-SYSTCO, tries to shed light on this unknown world. The acronym envelops an Antarctic deep-sea research programme, exploring various regions of the Southern Ocean at several thousand meters of depth with the primary goal of analysing interactions among atmosphere, water column and seafloor. "Since deep sea research continues to take us to unknown worlds, we are expecting some new and fascinating insights regarding biological diversity in the ocean, perhaps even the discovery of previously unknown species", explains Bathmann. The Polarstern expedition thus is part of two major global research initiatives studying marine biodiversity: the ‘Census of Antarctic Marine Life' (CAML), and the ‘Census of the Diversity of Abyssal Marine Life' (CeDAMar), both of which are sub-programmes of the so-called ‘Census of Marine Life'.

Before Polarstern will depart from Cape Town on November 28, however, U
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Contact: Ralf Roechert
Ralf.Roechert@awi.de
49-471-483-11680
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research  
Source:Eurekalert

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