Export of Algal Biomass from the Melting Arctic Sea Ice

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Science  14 Feb 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1231346

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In the Arctic, under-ice primary production is limited to summer months and is not only restricted by ice thickness and snow cover but also by the stratification of the water column, which constrains nutrient supply for algal growth. RV Polarstern visited the ice-covered Eastern Central basins between 82 to 89°N and 30 to 130°E in summer 2012 when Arctic sea ice declined to a record minimum. During this cruise, we observed a widespread deposition of ice algal biomass of on average 9 g C per m2 to the deep-sea floor of the Central Arctic basins. Data from this cruise will contribute to assessing the impact of current climate change on Arctic productivity, biodiversity, and ecological function.

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