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Primary production and nutrient dynamics in polynyas
Tremblay, J.-E.; Smith Jr., W.O. (2007). Primary production and nutrient dynamics in polynyas, in: Smith Jr., W.O. et al. (Ed.) Polynyas: windows to the world. Elsevier Oceanography Series, 74: pp. 239-269
In: Smith Jr., W.O.; Barber, D.G. (Ed.) (2007). Polynyas: windows to the world. Elsevier Oceanography Series, 74. Elsevier: Amsterdam. xv, 458 pp., more
In: Elsevier Oceanography Series. Elsevier: Oxford; New york; Amsterdam. ISSN 0422-9894, more

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Dynamical Oceanography DYN [131840]

Keywords
    Nutrient cycles; Polynyas; Primary production; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Tremblay, J.-E.
  • Smith Jr., W.O.

Abstract
    Phytoplankton assemblages in polynyas are strongly impacted by the unique environment of those systems, and their growth and accumulation is always greater within a polynya than under heavy ice. The extent of this enhancement is dependent on the physical conditions of the polynya-the duration of the polynya's existence, the distribution of ice and snow, and the physical circulation within it. We review the polynyas in both Arctic and Antarctic waters that have been intensively studied and compare them with respect to biomass, daily productivity, chemical and physical constraints, annual productivity, export, and effects on food webs and the local biogeochemical cycles. We conclude that the most productive polynyas (the North Water polynya and the Ross Sea polynya) have remarkably similar short-term productivity, and the annual productivity and seasonal timing of both are also similar. However, the two have strong dissimilarities in modes of control and export. The ecological consequences of enhanced production within a polynya are also investigated, and appear to vary among polynyas. We suggest that the differences among polynyas within polar systems reflect the differences in large-scale physical forcing that exist across the Arctic and Antarctic, and that generalizations among polynyas need to encompass this variability.

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