The origin of these communities can be explained by the influence of environmental factors or by different origin of water masses.
Russian scientists at the Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre analysed samples of prokaryotic plankton communities in the Barents Sea and found two types of communities. The origin of these communities can be explained by the influence of environmental factors or by different origin of water masses. The results are published in Biology journal.
Scientists have studied the diversity of prokaryotic communities in the western and northeastern parts of the Barents Sea. It is believed that due to the constant mixing of waters, only one community of such microorganisms can live in a single sea. However, the Arctic Floating University expedition team found two different types of communities in the Barents Sea.
One of the communities is represented by microorganisms of the “Atlantic” type, which enter the Barents Sea with warm currents from the Atlantic Ocean. But the discovery of the second community - the "Barents Sea" type - came as a surprise to scientists.
According to scientists, a current that moves in a circular motion and forms in autumn and winter may be a reason. It can isolate the waters over the shallow part of the sea during this period, and in spring, weakening, unleash them.
Shallow waters [as a result] may flow in a northeasterly direction, towards Novaya Zemlya. It is possible that during the so-called isolation period caused by the current, the shallow water microbial community composition has changed, and we have "caught" this changed composition […]. Further research may change our understanding of marine microorganisms […], the Institute's press office reports.
Russian scientists from the Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute conducted the study.
The study of microbial communities in the region will help not only identify factors affecting their distribution but also the features of their response to climate change in the Arctic.