I clicked through files for hours. Each one contained data on ice cover in the Arctic, with a separate file for each day from August 1, 2003 to August 31, 2017. That's the period when larvae may have settled on my recruitment panels in the Arctic deep sea. I've been trying to figure out what environmental factors might influence recruitment, based on results from the long-term experiment I recovered with my German collaborators last summer. So far, I've looked at changes in water temperature, bottom current, and food input to the seafloor. Nothing seemed to quite line up. So I started looking at the ice cover.
|Sea ice in the Fram Strait|
There appears to be some connection between sea ice cover and recruitment to my panels, with the highest recruitment occurring in years with low ice cover that are preceded by years with high ice cover. I still need to look into it more before drawing any conclusions, but I'm very excited to relate my recruitment data to what's going on in the surrounding environment.