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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Katlein, Christian; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Nicolaus, Marcel;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ABYSS (294757)

    The ice cover of the Arctic Ocean has been changing dramatically in the last decades and the consequences for the sea-ice associated ecosystem remain difficult to assess. Algal aggregates underneath sea ice have been described sporadically but the frequency and distribution of their occurrence is not well quantified. We used upward looking images obtained by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to derive estimates of ice algal aggregate biomass and to investigate their spatial distribution. During the IceArc expedition (ARK-XXVII/3) of RV Polarstern in late summer 2012, different types of algal aggregates were observed floating underneath various ice types in the Central Arctic basins. Our results show that the floe scale distribution of algal aggregates in late summer is very patchy and determined by the topography of the ice underside, with aggregates collecting in dome shaped structures and at the edges of pressure ridges. The buoyancy of the aggregates was also evident from analysis of the aggregate size distribution. Different approaches used to estimate aggregate biomass yield a wide range of results. This highlights that special care must be taken when upscaling observations and comparing results from surveys conducted using different methods or on different spatial scales. Measurements of solar radiation over and under sea ice as well as surveys of the distribution of algal aggregates under sea ice have been performed on various stations in the Arctic Ocean during the Polarstern cruise ARK-XXVII/3 (IceArc) between 10 August and 29 September 2012. All radiation measurements have been performed with Ramses spectral radiometers (Trios, Rastede, Germany). All data are given in full spectral resolution interpolated to 1.0 nm and integrated over the entire wavelength range (broadband, total: 320 to 950 nm). Two sensors were mounted on a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and one radiometer was installed on the sea ice for surface reference measurements (solar irradiance). On the ROV, one irradiance sensor (cos-collector) for energy budget calculations and one radiance sensor (7° opening angle) to obtain high resolution spatial variability were installed. Along with the radiation measurements, sea-ice draft, roughness as well as under-ice aggregate coverage were recorded. Videos were recorded by a camera mounted in an upward looking position onboard a ROV. Still images were extracted each 5 seconds and aggregates detected in the images. Final processed data are provided gridded on a 3x3m grid in local floe coordinates.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Rossel, Pamela E; Bienhold, Christina; Boetius, Antje; Dittmar, Thorsten;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ABYSS (294757)

    Marine organic matter (OM) sinks from surface waters to the seafloor via the biological pump. Benthic communities, which use this sedimented OM as energy and carbon source, produce dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the process of remineralization, enriching the sediment porewater with fresh DOM compounds. We hypothesized that in the oligotrophic deep Arctic basin the molecular signal of freshly deposited primary produced OM is restricted to the surface sediment pore waters which should differ from bottom water and deeper sediment pore water in DOM composition. This study focused on: 1) the molecular composition of the DOM in sediment pore waters of the deep Eurasian Arctic basins, 2) whether the signal of marine vs. terrigenous DOM is represented by different compounds preserved in the sediment pore waters and 3) whether there is any relation between Arctic Ocean ice cover and DOM composition. Molecular data, obtained via 15 Tesla Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer, were correlated with environmental parameters by partial least square analysis. The fresher marine detrital OM signal from surface waters was limited to pore waters from < 5 cm sediment depth. The productive ice margin stations showed higher abundances of peptides, unsaturated aliphatics and saturated fatty acids formulae, indicative of fresh OM/pigments deposition, compared to northernmost stations which had stronger aromatic signals. This study contributes to the understanding of the coupling between the Arctic Ocean productivity and its depositional regime, and how it will be altered in response to sea ice retreat and increasing river runoff. This is a contribution to the European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant 294757 to Antje Boetius.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Rabe, Benjamin; Katlein, Christian; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Boetius, Antje;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ABYSS (294757)

    The ice-covered Central Arctic Ocean is characterized by low primary productivity due to light and nutrient limitations. It has been speculated that the recent reduction in ice cover could lead to a substantial increase in primary production, but still little is known as to the fate of the ice-associated primary production, and of nutrient supply with increasing warming. This study presents results from the Central Arctic Ocean collected during summer 2012, when sea-ice reached a minimum extent since the onset of satellite observations. Net primary productivity (NPP) was measured in water column, sea ice and melt ponds by 14CO2 uptake at different irradiances. Photosynthesis vs. irradiance (PI) curves were established in laboratory experiments and used to upscale measured NPP to the deep Eurasian Basin (north of 78°N) using the irradiance-based Central Arctic Ocean Primary Productivity model (CAOPP). In addition, new annual production was calculated from the seasonal nutrient drawdown in the mixed layer since last winter. Results show that ice algae can contribute up to 60% to primary production in the Central Arctic at the end of the season. The ice-covered water column had lower NPP rates than open water probably due to light limitation. According to the nutrient ratios in the euphotic zone, nitrate limitation was detected in the Siberian Seas (Laptev Sea area), while silicate was the main limiting nutrient at the ice margin influenced by Atlantic waters. Although sea-ice cover was substantially reduced in 2012, total annual new production in the Eurasian Basin was 17 ± 7 Tg C/yr, which is similar to previous estimates. However, when including the contribution by sub-ice algal filaments, the annual production for the deep Eurasian Basin (north of 78°N) is 16 Tg C/yr higher than estimated before. Our data suggest that sub-ice algae might be responsible for potential local increases in NPP due to higher light availability under the ice, and their ability to benefit from a wider area of nutrients as they drift with the ice.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kiesel, Joshua; Bienhold, Christina; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Link, Heike;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ABYSS (294757)

    During the RV Polarstern expedition PS94, we gathered sediment samples in the Barents Sea and the central Arctic Ocean by deploying both a multiple corer (MUC) and a giant boxcorer (GKG). After retrieval of the MUC or GKG, replicate sediment cores with a visibly intact sediment surface were chosen for further laboratory analysis. The selected cores were brought to the laboratory on board RV Polarstern for further analysis. While data on chlorophyll pigments, total organic carbon, microbial cell numbers and diffusive oxygen uptake rates were taken from the same cores, total oxygen uptake rates were measured in three additional cores.