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Effect of melting Antarctic sea ice on the fate of microbial communities studied in microcosms
Lannuzel, D.; Schoemann, V.; Dumont, I.; Content, M.; de Jong, J.; Tison, J.-L.; Delille, B.; Becquevort, S. (2013). Effect of melting Antarctic sea ice on the fate of microbial communities studied in microcosms. Polar Biol. 36(10): 1483-1497.
In: Polar Biology. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 0722-4060, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Sea ice; Microbial community; Antarctica; Iron

Authors  Top 
  • Lannuzel, D., more
  • Schoemann, V., more
  • Dumont, I.
  • Content, M.

    Although algal growth in the iron-deficient Southern Ocean surface waters is generally low, there is considerable evidence that winter sea ice contains high amounts of iron and organic matter leading to ice-edge blooms during austral spring. We used field observations and ship-based microcosm experiments to study the effect of the seeding by sea ice microorganisms, and the fertilization by organic matter and iron on the planktonic community at the onset of spring/summer in the Weddell Sea. Pack ice was a major source of autotrophs resulting in a ninefold to 27-fold increase in the sea ice-fertilized seawater microcosm compared to the ice-free seawater microcosm. However, heterotrophs were released in lower numbers (only a 2- to 6-fold increase). Pack ice was also an important source of dissolved organic matter for the planktonic community. Small algae (< 10 mu m) and bacteria released from melting sea ice were able to thrive in seawater. Field observations show that the supply of iron from melting sea ice had occurred well before our arrival onsite, and the supply of iron to the microcosms was therefore low. We finally ran a "sequential melting" experiment to monitor the release of ice constituents in seawater. Brine drainage occurred first and was associated with the release of dissolved elements (salts, dissolved organic carbon and dissolved iron). Particulate organic carbon and particulate iron were released with low-salinity waters at a later stage.

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