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    Trends in water temperature and salinity (A) and density of phytoplankton of two size ranges (B), Canada Basin, 2004 to 2008. Stratification of the water column increased throughout the Canada Basin over a recent five-year period, accompanied by a change in phytoplankton communities. The upper ocean layer showed trends of increased temperature and decreased salinity (Figure 18A), which combine to make this layer progressively less dense. The layer of water below this did not change in density over this period (not shown). The larger size class of phytoplankton (which would include diatoms) decreased in abundance, while the smaller types of plankton increased (Figure 18B). In addition to the trends shown, nutrient content in the upper ocean water layer decreased. Abundance of microbes (bacteria and similar organisms) that subsist on organic matter increased. Total phytoplankton biomass, however, remained unchanged. If this trend towards smaller species of phytoplankton and microbes is sustained, it may lead to reduced production of zooplankton, an impact that would be transmitted through the food web to birds, fish and mammals. Published in the Life Linked to Ice released in 2013, page 30. Life Linked to Ice: A guide to sea-ice-associated biodiversity in this time of rapid change. CAFF Assessment Series No. 10. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, Iceland. ISBN: 978-9935-431-25-7.