The overarching objective of the expedition is to delineate the impact of contrasted glacial regimes on the structure of shallow benthic communities in a fast-warming region of the Southern Ocean. The idea is to refine insights gained in the plasticities of these communities in the framework of the RECTO/vERSO projects. This objective will be tackled using a multi-faceted approach, as determined in the RECTO project. This approach is matched by the complementary competences of the scientific crew.
Main Scientific Questions
The expedition will be a unique opportunity to address a series of underlying scientific/logistic questions, including:
- to map the marine habitats in selected locations from the Gerlache Strait
- to assess the levels of biodiversity in an underexplored area of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP)
- to model trophic networks in fast-changing environmental conditions
- to test the efficiency of a nimble sampling platform for Antarctic marine biodiversity works and its potential to rapidly fill knowledge gaps
- to characterise the levels of (micro)plastic contamination, including adsorbed pollutants (organic and inorganic) in various compartments (biotic and “abiotic” of the marine realm)