Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Marine Science


Lee Karp-Boss, Laurie Connell

Committee Members

R.W. Estela, Joyce Longcore, Robert Wheeler

Graduation Year

May 2020

Publication Date

Spring 5-2020


Marine fungi play a crucial role in recycling nutrients and channeling energy to higher trophic levels in the world oceans. Despite their critical role, their distributions and community composition, particularly in the Arctic, are largely unknown. This study reveals depth-related trends of abundance, diversity, and community composition of Arctic marine fungi through analysis of data obtained in the Tara Oceans expedition. With samples from surface (0-50 m), deep chlorophyll max (50-200 m), and mesopelagic (200-1000 m) depths, relative abundance, operational taxonomic unit (OTU) richness, and diversity were found to increase as a function of depth. Basidiomycota and Ascomycota were found to to be the most dominant OTUs in Arctic water samples. This study provides potential causes for depth-related trends and yields insight into the biogeographic distribution of Arctic marine fungi.