Productivity of Microalgae in Antarctic Sea Ice

Science  20 Aug 1965:
Vol. 149, Issue 3686, pp. 872-874
DOI: 10.1126/science.149.3686.872


Midsummer productivity of Antarctic microalgae, commonly occurring in brown sea ice along the west coast of the Palmer Peninsula, averaged more than 900 milligrams of carbon per cubic meter per hour, with an assimilation number of about 2.6. The rate of photosynthesis increased with light intensity to a maximum of about 18,000 lux, above which some inhibition was observed. The floral composition, genesis, and physiological properties of these ice communities are different from the epontic under-ice diatoms previously studied by other investigators in McMurdo Sound.