Biological and climate diversity of the central part of the Svalbard Arctic archipelago

(2007 – 2010)


Project funded by Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic (INGO LA341). Arctic climate and biological diversity of the central part of the Svalbard Artic archipelago is an interdisciplinary (biology and climatology) research project, which is a part of the Network for ARCtic Climate and Biological DIVersity Studies (ARCDIV) – a multidisciplinary international research initiative. This initiative is prepared under the auspices of the International Polar Year (IPY 2007 – 2008). The project is coordinated by Faculty of Sciences University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice and in cooperation with Faculty of Sciences Masaryk University in Brno.

Project is indexed on Svalbard Science forum.

Aim of the project is:

  • detail assessment of the biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystem (cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, mosses and higher plants)
  • assessment of biodiverzity of parasites of marine fauna
  • microclimate monitoring in selected habitats
  • study of functioning of selected phenomena of Arctic ecosystem in Petuniabukta bay, Biljefjorden (central Spitsbergen, Svalbard archipelago).

After two years of field research we installed authomatic climatic stations, finished description of vegetation including mapping of individual plant community and published results of repeated mapping of small area near Brucebyen after 70 years. We have new records on flora of vascular plants, mosses and lichens and we collected samples for molecular analyses necessary for biodiversity assessment in cyanobacteria, algae and parasites. We also established experiments manipulating climate using open top chambers in which, for example, decomposition of mosses and ecology of Nostoc, colony forming cyanobacteria fixing nitrogen, have been studied.

Project aims to establish conditions necessary for systematic research in central Svalbard which have been overlooked so far by researches from other countries and to establish interdisciplinary arctic research on Czech universities and research institutions.

More information can be found on homepage of the project.

doc. Ing. Josef Elster, CSc.
tel. +420-384 721 156