North Atlantic Habitats: Resolving Physical controls on Biogeochemical and Ecosystem Dynamics - Cruise No. MSM26 - March 20 - April 16, 2013 - Cork (Ireland) - St. John's (Canada) (English)

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Within the framework of the EU project EuroBasin, cruise MSM 26 was part of an international multi-vessel campaign, which aimed at a broad-scale comparison of the North Atlantic subpolar basins. The scientific programme of cruise MSM 26 focused on a survey of the North Atlantic pelagic ecosystem as well as targeted process studies in different habitats. The cruise covered a transect across the subpolar North Atlantic with a total of 12 stations in the Iceland Basin, Irminger Basin and Labrador Basin. Physical, biogeochemical and biological samples were taken at each station, and vital rates, like egg production and grazing, of key ecosystem components were measured. The focus of the biological activities was on the lower trophic levels, from phytoplankton to micronekton, with special emphasis on the copepod Calanus finmarchicus, which plays a crucial role in the Nordic Seas ecosystems. The basic sampling scheme involved, corresponding to the multidisciplinary character of the cruise, a series of different instruments at each station, including CTD rosette, advanced optical plankton assessment systems (VPR, LOPC, LISST), and plankton and micronekton nets (MultiNet®, MOCNESS, WP2, IKMT). During transits between stations, a TRIAXUS was towed, if possible, providing continuous data on temperature, salinity, oxygen, fluorescense, zooplankton size spectra, and micronekton assemblages. First results show clear differences between the basins, with deep convection only in the Iceland Basin, and generally increasing abundances of plankton and micronekton from east to west.