Spring phytoplankton onset after the ice break-up and sea-ice signature (Adélie Land, East Antarctica)

  • Catherine Riaux-Gobin
  • Michel Poulin
  • Gerhard Dieckmann
  • Céline Labrune
  • Gilles Vétion
Keywords: Ice break-up, phytoplankton, sea-ice signature, East Antarctica


The phytoplankton onset following the spring ice break-up in Adélie Land, East Antarctica, was studied along a short transect, from 400 m off the continent to 5 km offshore, during the austral summer of 2002. Eight days after the ice break-up, some large colonial and solitary diatom cells, known to be associated with land-fast ice and present in downward fluxes, were unable to adapt in ice-free waters, while some other solitary and short-colony forming taxa (e.g., Fragilariopsis curta, F. cylindrus) did develop. Pelagic species were becoming more abundant offshore, replacing the typical sympagic (ice-associated) taxa. Archaeomonad cysts, usually associated with sea ice, were recorded in the surface waters nearshore. Rough weather restricted the data set, but we were able to confirm that some microalgae may be reliable sea-ice indicators and that seeding by sea ice only concerns a few taxa in this coastal area of East Antarctica.

Keywords: Ice break-up; phytoplankton; sea-ice signature; East Antarctica

(Published: 10 January 2011)

Citation: Polar Research 2011, 30, 5910, doi: 10.3402/polar.v30i0.5910


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How to Cite
Riaux-Gobin C., Poulin M., Dieckmann G., Labrune C., & Vétion G. (2011). Spring phytoplankton onset after the ice break-up and sea-ice signature (Adélie Land, East Antarctica). Polar Research. https://doi.org/10.3402/polar.v30i0.5910
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