MICROSNOW in the field and in the lab

MICROSNOW (Marine snow, pelagic-benthic coupling and the impact of the harpacticoid copepod Microsetella norvegica, and other agents in a high-latitude fjord) is a new research project led by Camilla Svensen (UiT), with partners from IMR (Jofrid Skardhamar), NPI (Peter Thor), UiT (Fredrika Norrbin), DTU (Marja Koski), and AWI (Morten Iversen) and is funded by the FRAM flagship “Fjord and Coast”.

The project combines fieldwork and laboratory experiments to investigate the role of the tiny (0.5 mm) and abundant harpacticoid copepod Microsetella norvegia for vertical flux regulation and degradation of marine snow. During a cruise to Balsfjord 19-23 june 2017,  physical and chemical properties of the water-column were investigated together with the vertical distribution of zooplankton. Aggregate flux and aggregate concentrations were investigated with a Video Plankton Recorder and with sediment traps.


At UiT, experiments were conducted to investigate respiration and grazing rates of Microsetella norvegica feeding on marine snow particles. By video-filming, their feeding behavior and aggregate encounter rates was studied. In addition, Marja Koski, PhD candidate Coralie Barth-Jensen and Master student Peter Glad were investigating the production rates of Microsetella norvegica and Oithona sp.

All pictures by Camilla Svensen