Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Sea ice algae photobiology

Denne side er under udvikling

The sea ice environment is a highly complex and extreme environment for organisms living inside the ice. These are sea ice algae (phytoplankton), bacteria, viruses, and crustaceans. Sea ice algae need light and nutrients to maintain their primary production. Nutrients are available from the seawater but light is limited. It varies between less than 1 percent with a snow cover and up to about 5 percent without a snow cover depending on the optical properties of the ice.

The SIAP project – Sea Ice Algae Photobiology – comprises sea ice ecology with a special focus on sea ice algae living at the bottom of the sea ice both in the Arctic and in Antarctic. They contribute with about 20 percent of the total carbon production and they are the only carbon source for zooplankton and krill during all the months of sea ice coverage. The underside of the 1-2 meter thick sea ice is an extreme environment where it is cold and dark. We focus on the ice algae physiology in relation to irradiance (light), spectral composition of the light, and also the physical structure of the sea ice. We also have a focus on the relations between ice algae and bacteria and virus also living in the ice.

Contact: Brian K. Sorrell and Lars Chresten Lund-Hansen


Visit the project website