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The importance of ice algae-produced carbon in the central Arctic Ocean ecosystem: Food web relationships revealed by lipid and stable isotope analyses
Kohlbach, D.; Graeve, M.; Lange, A.B.; David, C.; Peeken, I. (2016). The importance of ice algae-produced carbon in the central Arctic Ocean ecosystem: Food web relationships revealed by lipid and stable isotope analyses. Limnol. Oceanogr. 61(6): 2027-2044. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/lno.10351
In: Limnology and Oceanography. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography: Waco, Tex., etc.. ISSN 0024-3590, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Kohlbach, D.
  • Graeve, M.
  • Lange, A.B.
  • David, C.
  • Peeken, I.

Abstract
    To better predict ecological consequences of changing Arctic sea ice environments, we aimed to quantify the contribution of ice algae-produced carbon (alpha;Ice) to pelagic food webs in the central Arctic Ocean. Eight abundant under-ice fauna species were submitted to fatty acid (FA) analysis, bulk stable isotope analysis (BSIA) of nitrogen (delta;15N) and carbon (delta;13C) isotopic ratios, and compound-specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA) of delta;13C in trophic marker FAs. A high mean contribution alpha;Ice was found in Apherusa glacialis and other sympagic (ice-associated) amphipods (BSIA: 87% to 91%, CSIA: 58% to 92%). The pelagic copepods Calanus glacialis and C. hyperboreus, and the pelagic amphipod Themisto libellula showed substantial, but varying alpha;Ice values (BSIA: 39% to 55%, CSIA: 23% to 48%). Lowest alpha;Ice mean values were found in the pteropod Clione limacina (BSIA: 30%, CSIA: 14% to 18%). Intra-specific differences in FA compositions related to two different environmental regimes were more pronounced in pelagic than in sympagic species. A comparison of mixing models using different isotopic approaches indicated that a model using delta;13C signatures from both diatom-specific and dinoflagellate-specific marker FAs provided the most conservative estimate of alpha;Ice. Our results imply that ecological key species of the central Arctic Ocean thrive significantly on carbon synthesized by ice algae. Due to the close connectivity between sea ice and the pelagic food web, changes in sea ice coverage and ice algal production will likely have important consequences for food web functioning and carbon dynamics of the pelagic system.

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