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Phytoplankton and sea ice algal biomass and physiology during the transition between winter and spring (McMurdo Sound, Antarctica)


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McMinn, A and Martin, A and Ryan, KG (2010) Phytoplankton and sea ice algal biomass and physiology during the transition between winter and spring (McMurdo Sound, Antarctica). Polar Biology, 33. pp. 1547-1556. ISSN 0722-4060 (Print) 1432-2056 (Online)

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The phytoplankton and sea ice algal communities at the end of winter in McMurdo Sound were dominated by Fragilariopsis sublineata, with Thalassiosira antarctica, Melosira adele, Pinnularia quadreata, Entomoneis kjellmannii and heterotrophic dinoflagellates also present. Sea ice algal biomass at the end of winter was very low, only 0.050 ± 0.019 mg chla m-2 in 2007 and 0.234 ± 0.036 mg chla m-2 in 2008, but this increased to 0.377 ± 0.078 mg chla m-2 by early October in 2007 and to 1.07 ± 0.192 by late September in 2008. Under ice
phytoplankton biomass remained consistently below 0.1 lg chla l-1 throughout the measuring period in both years. The photosynthetic parameters Fv/Fm, rETRmax and a document microalgal communities that are mostly healthy and well adapted to their low light under ice
environment. Our results also suggest that species such as Fragilariopsis sublineata are well adapted to deal with low winter light levels but are unlikely to survive an increase in irradiance, whereas other taxa, such as Thalassiosira antarctica, will do better in a higher light environment.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Winter Sea ice algae Phytoplankton Antarctica Photophysiology Fv/Fm
Journal or Publication Title: Polar Biology
Page Range: pp. 1547-1556
ISSN: 0722-4060 (Print) 1432-2056 (Online)
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1007/s00300-010-0844-6
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The final publication is available at

Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2011 03:32
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:24
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