About this Research Topic
The Arctic and Antarctic oceans are undergoing changes in the extent of their sea-ice and ice-shelves. These have important impacts on the biodiversity, structure and function of pelagic and benthic communities, and will change the composition, distribution and productivity of all species in these ecosystems.
Decreasing Arctic sea ice has led to a northwards shift in phytoplankton distributions and recently phytoplankton blooms were discovered in autumn. Shifts were also observed in the vertical and horizontal distributions of zooplankton communities. Less is currently known about the impacts and responses of benthic communities.
In the Antarctic, gigantic icebergs have calved from ice shelves and in some cases, entire ice shelves have collapsed enabling sunlight and currents to reach the underlying benthic communities and providing new space for pelagic ecosystems. The benthic habitats and their faunal inhabitants under floating Antarctic ice shelves are among the least known marine communities on Earth. Surveying previously under-ice-shelf environments, such as Larsen-C, as soon as possible after the calving of Iceberg A68, will enable scientists, for the first time, to study these benthic assemblages at an unprecedented scale.
Therefore, the aim of this Research Topic is to provide up-to-date information on the species richness and biogeographic responses in marine biodiversity, plankton and benthos, invertebrates and algae, adapted to ice-covered environments as well as on their phylogeographic relationships.
For this Research Topic, we invite contributions addressing all aspects of marine biodiversity science that introduce new knowledge to improve our understanding of the effects ice loss (sea ice and ice shelf) has on the pelagic and benthic communities in the polar oceans. We welcome original manuscripts suitable as research articles, reviews, or mini-reviews according to Frontiers’ categories for articles (https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/marine-science#article-types).
Authors are welcome to submit their ideas and abstracts to the editors before submission in order for the Topic Editors to assess their suitability for publication in this Research Topic.
Keywords: Sea ice retreat, Ice shelf collapse, Biodiversity change, Colonization, Range shifts
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.