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Ecology of bottom ice algae: 3. Comparative physiology
Cota, G.F.; Smith, R.E.H. (1991). Ecology of bottom ice algae: 3. Comparative physiology, in: Nihoul, J.C.J. et al. Ice covered seas and ice edges. Physical, chemical and biological processes and interactions: proceedings of the 22th International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics. Journal of Marine Systems, 2: pp. 297-315
In: Nihoul, J.C.J.; Djenidi, S. (1991). Ice covered seas and ice edges. Physical, chemical and biological processes and interactions: proceedings of the 22th International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics. Journal of Marine Systems, 2. Elsevier Science Publishers: Amsterdam. 520 pp., more
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Cota, G.F.
  • Smith, R.E.H.

Abstract
    The physiological behavior of bottom ice algal assemblages has been studied intensively at several locations, particularly over the last decade. Ice algal populations can be studied for 1-3 months because they are stationary and their environmental conditions can also be manipulated in situ. Therefore, they present a model system for studies of the physiological ecology of natural microalgal populations. Physiological responses to major environmental variables, including temperature, salinity, irradiance and nutrients, have been characterized. Ice algae are physiologically similar to polar phytoplankton, but there are important differences which appear to reflect their respective environmental conditions.Photosynthesis vs. irradiance responses, photosynthate allocation and biochemical composition have been determined for vernal blooms. Ice algae and phytoplankton have similar gross biochemical compositions (e.g., C:N, C:Si, C:Chl), but lipid contents can be markedly higher in ice algae. Ice algae normally exhibit relatively low maximal assimilation numbers (except at subpolar latitudes) but markedly higher photosynthetic efficiencies than planktonic diatoms; large low frequency fluctuations in photosynthetic performance are common during the later phases of blooms. Ice algae have relatively low photoadaptive indices Ik and optimal irradiances Im, reflecting their average growth irradiance. Compared to phytoplankton, photosynthate allocation by ice algae is lower for protein, similar for lipid but higher for polysaccharide and metabolites at the same irradiance. In several respects the physiological behavior of ice algae appears to be fundamentally different than that of phytoplankton.

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