Distribution of algal aggregates under summer sea ice in the Central Arctic

Christian.Katlein [ at ] awi.de


Arctic sea ice is changing dramatically in the last decades and the consequences for the sea-ice associated ecosystem are difficult to assess. Sea ice is observed to become thinner, younger, and more pond covered. It also allows more light to transmit into and under the ice. Intensive melting might impact the life of sea ice algae within the brine channels. Algal aggregates underneath the sea ice of the central Arctic have been described sporadically, but the frequency and distribution of their occurrence as well as their role in the ecosystem remain unknown due to the lack of large-scale observations. During the TransArc and IceArc expedition of RV Polarstern in the late summers of 2011 and 2012, we observed ice algal aggregates with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) underneath various ice types in the central basins. We observed different types of ice algal aggregates floating underneath and attached to the underside of the sea ice. Maps of the distribution of aggregate abundance could be obtained by complementing the upward looking imagery with synchronously recorded ROV attitude and position data. Besides the analysis of spatial distribution patterns and estimates of total biomass of the algal assemblages, this data allowed for shape analysis and the extraction of size distributions. Our results show, that the floe scale spatial distribution of ice algal aggregates is determined by the ice topography.

Item Type
Conference (Poster)
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Research Networks
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Not peer-reviewed
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Arctic Frontiers 2015, 01 Jan 2015 - 01 Jan 1970, Tromsö.
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Katlein, C. , Fernandez Mendez, M. , Wenzhöfer, F. and Nicolaus, M. (2015): Distribution of algal aggregates under summer sea ice in the Central Arctic , Arctic Frontiers 2015, Tromsö, January 2015 - unspecified .


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