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Seasonal development and differential retention of ice algae and other organic fractions in first-year Arctic sea ice


Juhl, AR and Krembs, C and Meiners, KM, Seasonal development and differential retention of ice algae and other organic fractions in first-year Arctic sea ice, Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 436 pp. 1-16. ISSN 1616-1599 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 Inter-Research

DOI: doi:10.3354/meps09277


The temporal evolution of ice algae biomass, particulate and dissolved organic carbon (POC and DOC), and particulate and dissolved carbohydrates (pCHO and dCHO) was followed in land-fast, Arctic sea ice near Barrow, Alaska, USA. POC, DOC, pCHO, and dCHO were found in young ice before algal growth occurred, indicating initial allochthonous sources. In sediment-free ice, particulate organic pools (POC and pCHO) were more strongly related to ice algae biomass than the larger dissolved organic pools (DOC and dCHO). Although algae biomass peaked near the ice bottom, integrating across ice depth showed that most organic matter was found above the bottom layer. Sediment-containing ice held high organic matter concentrations, although peak ice algae biomass was lower than in sediment-free ice. Sediments incorporated in sea ice can be a source of allochthonous organic matter that is comparable to autochthonous contributions by ice algae. In late spring, much of the algae biomass in sediment-free ice was lost, in as little as 5 d. Nevertheless, large POC, DOC, pCHO, and dCHO pools remained in the ice, both near the bottom and in upper layers. Observations of natural ice cores melting in laboratory experiments demonstrated a network of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) remaining attached to the ice bottom, even as the ice structure melted away. This retained EPS may partly explain the POC and carbohydrate pools found in sea ice after the loss of algae. Differential retention of organic matter by seasonal sea ice suggests that the characteristics of material exported from the ice will change as the melt season progresses.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Arctic sea ice, nutrients, extracellular polymeric substances, EPS, sea-ice community, biogeochemistry, carbon flux, cryobenthic and cryopelagic coupling, polar regions, exopolymer, Chukchi Sea
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
UTAS Author:Meiners, KM (Dr Klaus Meiners)
ID Code:75538
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:36
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2012-02-02
Last Modified:2012-09-05

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