The Arctic Ocean is warming at an unprecedented rate, leading to the loss of multi-year sea ice, and changes to stratification and ocean circulation patterns (Polyakov et al., 2017; Lind et al., 2018; Stroeve and Notz 2018). Increased discharge of freshwater (McClelland et al., 2006) and terrestrial organic matter into Arctic coastal water (Parmentier et al., 2017) further influence the timing of natural cycles. The ecological consequences of these changes manifest in adjusted primary productivity cycles (Lewis et al., 2020), alterations in the quality and quantity of organic matter reaching the seafloor (Krajewska et al., 2017; Stevenson and Abbott 2019; Olivier et al., 2020), benthic biogeochemical cycles (MacDonald et al., 2015; Solan et al., 2020) and the food-web (Yunda-Guarin et al., 2020). Mechanistic understanding of these processes requires continual revision, and in this research topic, we report new findings and emerging insights about how Arctic biogeochemical processes are responding to climate change and altering system dynamics. The contributions received present nuanced perspectives on the role of spatial and temporal variability, the connectivity between terrestrial and marine systems, the context dependency of organic matter degradation, and they highlight some emerging ecological consequences from a range of Arctic locations.
- climate change
- organic matter