Bunddyr Disko West

Sea bed fauna, Store Hellefiske Banke at 95 m water depth.

Marine habitats in Western Greenland are exposed to climatic variation through changes in sea ice dynamics and commercial exploration and exploitation for oil and gas reserves. Due to these environmental and commercial pressures it has made identification and description of sea-bed communities a critical step that will be used as a baseline point for future environmental impact assessments. The sea bed is a useful focal point as many species are stationary, perennial and therefore sensitive to a variety of impacting factors through human activities. The biota also forms a major trophic link between foraging sea birds and walruses and therefore represents a major component of Arctic species richness.

This project complements similar ongoing projects across West and East Greenland (Kanumas West, East and biodiversity of South Western Greenland). Through collection, identification and description of flora and fauna of the sea bed habitats, together with associated biogeochemistry will provide a detailed account into geographic and climatic variation of species richness encompassing the sub-Arctic to the high Arctic. This is essential to relate to the interpretation of future variability and assessing the potential sensitivity of environmental impact through oil and gas exploitation.

Opdateret 12.04.2011