To investigate the fate of ice algae released from sea ice, we investigated the abundance, species composition, and sinking flux of diatoms in the water column under fast ice near Syowa Station, Antarctica during the summer of 2005/2006. The diatom assemblage in the water column consisted of chain-forming planktonic species, in contrast to the under-ice assemblage dominated by pennate species reported from this site in the past; this dissimilarity suggests the presence of an unconsolidated platelet ice layer under the congelation ice, within which planktonic species can bloom. Among the dominant diatoms, Porosira pseudodenticulata and Pseudo-nitzschia cf. turgiduloides were dominant in the water column, and their water column stocks were higher than their mass sedimentation. These species apparently maintain their populations in the surface layer, as their production remains in the water column. In contrast, Fragilariopsis kerguelensis and Thalassiosira australis were scarce in the water column but rich in the flux, indicating active sinking and export of their production to the benthic ecosystem. This distinction in buoyancy control and sinking characteristics of the dominant diatoms on release from the fast ice influences the diatom species composition and carbon flow under the ice.
- Diatom assemblage
- Fast ice
- Sinking characteristics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)