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Meiofauna in sea ice of the Weddell Sea (Antarctica)

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Citation:
Schiel, S. , Dieckmann, G. , Gradinger, R. , Melnikov, I. A. , Spindler, M. and Thomas, D. N. (2001): Meiofauna in sea ice of the Weddell Sea (Antarctica) , Polar Biology, 24 , pp. 724-728 . doi: 10.1007/s003000100273
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Abstract:

AbstractThe sea ice meiofauna was studied during different cruises to the Weddell Sea. Foraminifers dominate (75%) the sea ice community in terms of numerical abundance while turbullarians dominate (45%) in terms of biomass. Distribution of organisms is patchy and varies considerably between cruises but also between sampling sites within one cruise. The bulk of the meiofauna is concentrated in the lowest parts of the sea ice which is especially true during winter and autumn. However, in highly porous summer sea ice sympagic organisms occur in high densities also in upper and intermediate layers of sea ice. Proto- and metazoans associated with Antarctic sea ice include organisms actually living in sea ice as well as those on the underside of floes and in the underlying water. The sea ice habitat serves as a feeding ground as well as an important nursery ground for juveniles, providing an abundance of food resources. The ice also provides shelter from predators.

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