Icelandic marine Animals: Genetics and Ecology (IceAGE)
- Start date
- 1 January, 2010
The international IceAGE (Icelandic marine Animals: Genetics and Ecology) project, initiated in 2008 and managed by Drs Saskia Brix and Karin Meißner from DZMB Hamburg, Germany, builds on data obtainedby the previous, Iceland-lead BIOICE (199102004). It aims to expand and deepen the scientific questions with regard to new focal points. Previous work within BIOICE has concentrated on the recording of biodiversity patterns using morphological studies. Due to the formalin fixation, a number of questions concerning isolation, gene flow and speciation could not be clarified so far. In addition to the approach of ecological modelling, IceAGE focuses on the collection of genetically useful material for DNA barcoding, population genetics and other molecular analyses. In total, an international team of over 80 renowned experts for various animal groups has been involved in the processing of the extensive material. So far, the results of the IceAGE project have been published in three special volumes (Polish Polar Research 35: 2: 2014, Zookeys 1775: 2018, Marine Biodiversity 2018), plus many additional publications. Research highlights, next to the findings of plentiful species new to science, are the first visual investigation of the Steinahol vent field and the discovery of a new deep-water hydrothermal vent field along the Reykjanes Ridge.
IceAGE encompasses basic questions about deep-sea biodiversity and the correlation between genetic, morphological, and environmental patterns.
Furthermore, larger issues are central to the project:
- The deep waters around Iceland include boreal, subarctic, and Arctic zones that hold discrete bodies of water.
- This allows for comparative studies of deep-sea ecosystems.
- How much variation exists between basins in the deep sea?
- Is there gene flow between deep-sea basins?
- Do we see the same patterns in the deep sea and the continental shelf?