Arctic Biology

Sep
06

Mice on ice!

6 September 2012

Never heard of glacier mice? Actually, they are small moss balls forming on glacier surfaces. New research by UNIS and Nottingham Trent University shows that there is “hopping” life in these fluffy balls. Invertebrates such as springtails and water bears literally thrive (and survive) in this ice-cold environment.

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Aug
23

Dramatic changes in the Arctic ocean floor

23 August 2012

A new study based on a 30-year period show that the ocean floor communities of both Kongsfjorden and Smeerenburgfjorden have changed dramatically.  Existing organisms are replaced by warmth- and light-loving species. – A biological tipping point, according to the authors.

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Jul
24

Polar bears much older than assumed

24 July 2012

New DNA studies suggest that polar bears evolved into a distinct species as many as 4-5 million years ago. Climate change and genetic exchange with brown bears helped create the polar bear as we know it today.

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Jul
11

The snow, the aphid and climate change

11 July 2012

There are over 500 species of insect or mite or other creepy crawlies in Svalbard. Despite this large number of species it is clear that not all are found everywhere. The reason might be the weather conditions in winter.

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Jul
06

The avocado of the ocean

6 July 2012

Calanus glacialis (Arctic feed) is a copepod species considered to be a key element in the Arctic ecosystem. It contains up to 80 % fat, but that’s not why we compare it to the avocado. Both the copepod and the avocado might be regarded as biological anachronisms; adapted to an environment that no longer exists.

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Jun
18

Insects in Svalbard: What is there and what do we know?

18 June 2012

There are over 500 species of insect, mite and other creepy crawly recorded from Svalbard. They play a vital role in the ecosystem, and it is therefore important to understand the biodiversity present in Svalbard so as to better understand ecosystem function and provide a baseline for future environmental change studies.

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May
04

Norwegian spring spawning herring extending into the Svalbard fjords

4 May 2012

UNIS researchers have recorded large amounts of Norwegian spring spawning herring in Adventfjorden and Isfjorden. This represents the northernmost mass-occurrence of herring, and a significant extension of its northern distribution limits.

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Apr
30

Polar and Atlantic cod share habitat, but not diet

30 April 2012

A warmer ocean climate has resulted in Atlantic cod and haddock extending further into Arctic waters, presenting a potential threat to the native polar cod which is an important part of the high Arctic ecosystem. However, a new study by scientists in Svalbard and Tromsø reveals there is little competition for food between the invaders and the polar cod.

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Mar
12

Introducing Isohypsibius coulsoni

12 March 2012

Polish scientists have identified a new species of water bears in Svalbard and named it after Dr. Steve Coulson.

– I am ridiculously proud, says the UNIS  associate professor in terrestrial ecology.

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CONTACT INFO

The University Centre in Svalbard
Telephone: +47 79 02 33 00
Fax: +47 79 02 33 01
E-mail: post@unis.no / webmaster@unis.no
Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454

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