Marine Animals

The marine environment is inhabited by a huge variety of animals. Most abundant taxa are polychaete worms, crustaceans and bivalves. In shallow depths sponges are quite abundant and the kelp forests in coastal waters are full of life. Going deeper into the cold arctic waters or the deep-sea basins South of Iceland not only pressure increases and light is disappearing, but also temperature becomes lower with depths in the South while the water in the North is cold over the whole slope from the shelf down to the deep-sea basins. The species living around Iceland are adapted to these factors and now have to deal with more and more human impact in their habitat. Fisheries and trawling disturb the benthos, pollution from the urban lifestyle is increasing and one of the biggest changes may be the climate change warming earth and influencing the watermasses flowing clockwise around Iceland. We want to know how species react on changes and how these changes influence distribution patterns.