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Report of the DANA 6/21 ECOTIP West Greenland 2021 Cruise: Investigations from off Nuuk to north of Disko Island

Munk, Peter; Hanse, Katrine Elnegaard; Davies, Joanna Martin; Törnroos-Remes, Anna; Armitage, Phoebe; Jacquot, Maité; Bastian, Daniel; Schmidt, Claudia Elena; Koziorowska-Makuch, Katarzyna; Reinthaler, Thomas; Amano, Chie; Baltar, Federico; Steenholdt, Søren; Svensen, Camilla; Dietrich, Ulrike; Asiedu, Delove; Jónasdóttir, Sigrun; Koski, Marja

A multidisciplinary cruise was carried out off west Greenland during the period 17/7 to 29/7
(incl. transit 13/7 to 30/7) 2021, covering the area from north of Nuuk to north of Disko island
by a set of latitudinal sampling transects. The plans for the cruise was challenged by corona
restrictions necessitating changes to initial cruise track, and by generally windy working
conditions, but overall, planned sampling activities were successfully carried out.

This field work is an important element of the HORIZON-2020 supported project ECOTIP
which is carried out from 2020 to 2024. ECOTIP aims at improving our understanding of
anthropogenic changes in the biological production and diversity in the Arctic marine regions,
and their effects on the ecosystem services. The work has special emphasis on the evaluation of
whether a change in the lower trophic levels, due to the increased temperature and freshwater
outflow, can trigger an ecosystem tipping cascade that ultimately will change the important
benthic-pelagic coupling and carbon sequestration processes as well as the fisheries production.
During the cruise several of ECOTIP’s scientific sub-topics were emphasized. Sampling and
investigations were set up for assessment of hydrographic and ecosystem variability both from
the coastal to offshore areas and from boreal areas off Nuuk to the Arctic areas north of Disko
Bay, and sampling and measurements was to a large extent carried out at sites from which
historical information is available. We measured biodiversity at trophic levels from bacteria to
fish larvae, and carried out a wide range of process studies investigating e.g. microbial activity,
benthic processes and the biological pump. Further, chemistry and pollution of the marine area
were considered.

Many fundamental elements of the arctic marine ecosystem have already changed, and many
observations and samples from the cruise contributes valuable new information to support the
assessment and modeling of biological changes under the future climate scenarios.

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