LIVE FROM THE POLES ON-AIR

Re: Is there an extensive food chain or web in the North Pole?


From: "Guy Guthridge" <answer4@passport.ivv.nasa.gov>
Subject: Re: Is there an extensive food chain or web in the North Pole?
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 13:25:38 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: onair@passport.ivv.nasa.gov <onair@passport.ivv.nasa.gov>
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 1998 1:15 PM
Subject: Is there an extensive food chain or web in the North Pole?


>Alex M. asks this Question:
>
>Is there an extensive food chain or web in the North Pole?
>
>
>Answer:

First, I want to be sure we agree on the definition of North Pole.  To me
that is 90 degrees North latitude, in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.  At
that place there is a marine ecosystem with some life in sea ice and the
water column below, although not well studied because of the remote
location.

If by North Pole you are thinking of the Arctic, ranging down to about 60
degress North latitude, then there is indeed an extensive food web, both
marine and land based, ranging from caribou to foxes to birds and numerous
cold-adapted plants on land.  At sea the Arctic, in particular the Bering
Sea and in areas where the sea ice edge is melting back, there is enormous
biological productivity, with profitable fisheries and an extensive food
web.
>
>Excellent question, Alex M.  Keep up your studies!

Guy Guthridge
National Science Foundation

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