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1. MIZ functioning: from microbes to mammals.

Key aspects

  • To understand the structure and dynamics of the Ross Sea ecosystems and how they are affected by climatic processes
  • To understand how the Ross Sea ecosystem structure and dynamics interact with biogeochemical cycles of C, N, P and Si (Fe?)
  • To understand how the temporal sea-ice melting influences the carbon cycle in the water column
  • To determine the trophic interactions  and energy flow in the food webs: from the earlier (spring) food chain (diatoms-krill-whales) to the classic (summer) food web (microbial loop-mesozooplankton)
  • To determine how Ross Sea ecosystem structure and dynamics should be incorporated into management approaches for sustainable exploitation of living resources



2. Sea Ice (annual, pluri-annual and platelet ice) in driving biological and ecological  processes in Antarctic coastal areas.

Key aspects

  • Seasonal evolution of physical-biogeochemical aspects of annual sea ice in coastal areas
  • Sea-ice bottom community formation mechanisms: physical and biological coupled processes
  • Temporal evolution of community structure in relation to the sea-ice melting
  • Role of platelet ice in the coastal ecosystem functioning
  • Coupling of physical-biogeochemical models for the annual sea ice with ecosystem models to define a trophic model of the Ross Sea coastal areas
  • Ecosystem structure and climate: impacts, interactions and feedbacks (temporal large scale)