Chukchi Sea Environmental Studies Program: Benthic Ecology

Primary production reaching the sea floor is consumed by benthic organisms (animals living in or closely associated with sediments) allowing these communities to flourish in the Chukchi Sea. Prior work in the Chukchi Sea has been broadly focused and smaller-scale information is needed. Thus, invertebrate organisms dwelling in sediments (macrofauna including marine worms, clams, snails, and other small animals) and larger, mobile animals on top of the sediments (megafauna including brittle stars, sea stars, sea cucumbers, crabs, and shrimps) are sampled to understand the ecology of the benthic fauna in the study areas. The study is investigating relationships between invertebrate community composition and environmental characteristics to understand what factors influence community structures. The benthic team is also evaluating invertebrate food-web structure through tissue isotope analysis. Compared to other studies in the area, the smaller scale of the CSESP allows for stronger insights into the geologic and oceanographic factors structuring and influencing benthic animals in the region.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
ISO Topics biota
Primary Contact Arny Blanchard
Primary Organization ConocoPhillips
Funding Organizations ConocoPhillips
Other Organizations Shell Exploration and Production Company, Statoil, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Organization Types Academic, Industry and Consultants
Geo-keywords Alaska, North Slope
Start Date 2008-01-01
Created February 23, 2016, 01:42 (AKST)
Last Updated July 1, 2021, 21:12 (AKDT)