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Arctic Plankton Ecology in the 21st Century

Arctic plankton ecology is profoundly impacted by the seasonal variations in temperature and light and ice cover.  However, the very ice that is both a critical substrate and an integral environmental variable also presents logistic barriers to plankton ecology studies.  Although exploration of the Arctic ecosystem has been conducted for over a century, our ability to understand even its basic characteristics has been hampered by difficulty in accessing the region and by limitations to the facilities and equipment we have been able to utilize.  The status of and current issues in Arctic plankton ecology will be reviewed, particularly in reference to the ongoing Shelf-Basin Interactions study, with discussion of the instrumentation development, study area access, and facilities that are critical to advancing studies of Arctic plankton ecology.