A01-3 Ecosystem dynamics in the Antarctic sea ice zone
The Role
Using “Umitaka-Maru”, a training and research vessel of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, we will try to understand the ecosystem structure and its dynamics that drive material cycles of carbon in the seasonal ice zone; therefore, we will try to evaluate the influence of sea-ice variability on the marine ecosystem and the material circulation in East Antarctica.
Research overview
Ecosystem and material circulation of surface seawater: We will focus on dynamics, life, and reproductive mechanisms of the biotic communities, plants, zooplanktons, and small fish beneath the ice and in the marginal ice zone from the melting period through the production period of sea ice. We will clarify the material circulation in the surface layer. We will conduct research in collaboration with the bottom water group and the paleoceanography group.
Vertical transportation by biological pump: We will conduct time-series observations throughout the year including winter season by means of autonomous observation systems such as mooring and drifting systems. However, conducting research by vessels may be difficult during winter season.  We will clarify the process of transporting and isolating materials fixed by biotic communities from the surface layer to the deep layer.  We will conduct this project in collaboration with the paleoceanography group.
Movement of top predators and materials: We will investigate the response process of sea birds and large mammals to ecosystem change in the seasonal ice zone and quantify the influence of predators on the material circulation.