PNRA Title: Ross Sea ecosystem and emerging contaminants: new challenges and potential threats in a changing world
Acronym: ROSS'n'ROLL
Research Unit Leader ISP: Nicoletta Ademollo
Leading Institution: University of Siena
Funding: Ministero Università e Ricerca - Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (MUR-PNRA)
Period of activity: 2020 - 2023

One of the sampling sites of the project: Adelie Cove (Ross Sea) (Credit: PNRA) The Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (RSMPA) plays a crucial role in addressing numerous environmental issues to study vulnerability and adaption to rapid environmental change of Antarctic marine ecosystems. The continuous release of hundreds of thousands of emerging contaminants are recognized as the major threats to the dynamics and structures of RSMPA ecological communities. ROSS’n’ROLL will investigate the emergent threats through an integrated experimental, monitoring and modelling study which will assess the source, occurrence, effects and trends of emerging contaminants listed (or proposed for listing) in the Stockholm Convention and their possible effects on ecosystem functioning. ROSS’n’ROLL will involve most components of the Ross Sea ecological hierarchy from seawater-ice (abiotic) to marine communities (including criopelagic community and other consumers, fish, resident and migrant seabirds).

ROSS’n’ROLL aims to evaluate the fate of emerging contaminants and their biological/ecological impacts, starting from the basis of the trophic food web under different environmental conditions influenced by climate changes. Specific aims are:
• the study of occurrence, levels, distribution and bioaccumulation factors of emerging contaminants in related (stable isotope analysis based evidence) items of the same trophic web from sediments and seawater to pack-ice and biotic components (criopelagic comunity, molluscs, echinoderms, fish, South Polar skua, Adelie and Emperor penguins);
• discuss the emergent contaminant levels, profile and trend in the seabird trophic and in their environment (abiotic compartments) by correlating concentrations to the lipid content of tissues and their trophic levels through the isotope analysis;
• evaluation of spatial and temporal trends of contaminants in sea-water and organisms by using data from this survey and data series from previous campaigns.

Project Partners
• Department of Physics, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Siena
• Institute of Polar Sciences, National Research Council
• Department of Chemistry Ugo Schiff, University of Florence
• Department of Earth and Marine Science, University of Palermo

• F1 - One of the sampling sites of the project: Adelie Cove (Ross Sea) (Credit: PNRA)

ministero Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale
L'Italia e l’Artico
L’Italia e l’Antartide

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