WP4: Ecosystem change and carbon storage

In WP4, we study carbon fluxes and carbon cycling by pelagic and benthic coastal communities to forecast their response to global change in SP and WAP focal areas. We will share available data and process information, and conduct joint fieldwork to fill data gaps. The data collected in WP4 will be combined with the information gathered by WP3 at the organismal level, integrating them in different modelling efforts with WP2 researchers, and contributing to ecosystem service analysis in WP5. Methods will include quantification of land to ocean carbon transport from glacier and permafrost melting and analysis of POC degradability and POC/DOC concentration and composition, organic matter (OM) turnover by bacteria and its assimilation by planktonic primary producers and consumers. WP4 will further assess the export of the primary produced material to the benthos, the contribution of benthic macroalgae to coastal carbon budgets and quantify changes in blue carbon storage (macroalgae and benthic invertebrates).

About the WP Leader Ulrike Braeckman

Ulrike Braeckman (Marine Biology Research Group, Ghent University) is a senior postdoctoral research fellow of Research Fund – Flanders (FWO), investigating the influence of changing ice conditions on the marine benthic carbon cycle in polar areas. She is based in the Marine Biology Research Group at Ghent University, where she completed her PhD on the role of macrobenthos in the functioning of North Sea seafloor ecosystems (2011). During a 2-year research stay at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, she connected to a broad international network of polar marine scientists. Together with dr. Irene Schloss (CADIC), she coordinates WP4 within CoastCarb.