Sea ice presence is linked to higher carbon export and vertical microbial connectivity in the Eurasian Arctic Ocean


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Christina.Bienhold [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Arctic Ocean sea ice cover is shrinking due to warming. Long-term sediment trap data shows higher export efficiency of particulate organic carbon in regions with seasonal sea ice compared to regions without sea ice. To investigate this sea-ice enhanced export, we compared how different early summer phytoplankton communities in seasonally ice-free and ice-covered regions of the Fram Strait affect carbon export and vertical dispersal of microbes. In situ collected aggregates revealed two-fold higher carbon export of diatom-rich aggregates in ice-covered regions, compared to Phaeocystis aggregates in the ice-free region. Using microbial source tracking, we found that ice-covered regions were also associated with more surface-born microbial clades exported to the deep sea. Taken together, our results showed that ice-covered regions are responsible for high export efficiency and provide strong vertical microbial connectivity. Therefore, continuous sea-ice loss may decrease the vertical export efficiency, and thus the pelagic-benthic coupling, with potential repercussions for Arctic deep-sea ecosystems.



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Article
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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
54926
DOI 10.1038/s42003-021-02776-w

Cite as
Fadeev, E. , Rogge, A. , Ramondenc, S. , Nöthig, E. M. , Wekerle, C. , Bienhold, C. , Salter, I. , Waite, A. , Hehemann, L. , Boetius, A. and Iversen, M. (2021): Sea ice presence is linked to higher carbon export and vertical microbial connectivity in the Eurasian Arctic Ocean , Communications Biology, 4 (1255) . doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02776-w


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