Brief Communication: Capturing scales of spatial heterogeneity of Antarctic sea ice algae communities
Alexander L. Forrest1, Lars C. Lund-Hansen2, Brian K. Sorrell2, Isak Bowden-Floyd3, Vanessa Lucieer4, Remo Cossu5, and Ian Hawes61Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California – Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA 2Department of Bioscience, Aquatic Biology and Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, DK-8000 Aarhus C., Denmark 3Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia 4Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7053, Australia 5School of Civil Engineering, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia 6Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Private Bag 4800, New Zealand
Received: 29 Jul 2016 – Accepted for review: 03 Oct 2016 – Discussion started: 05 Oct 2016
Abstract. Identifying spatial heterogeneity of sea ice algae communities is critical to predicting ecosystem response under future climate scenarios. Using an autonomous robotic sampling platform beneath sea ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, we measured irradiance in spectral bands expected to describe the spatial heterogeneity. Derived estimates of ice algae biomass identified patchiness at length scales varying from 50–70 m under first-year sea ice. These results demonstrate that a step-change in how these communities can be assessed and monitored. The developed methodologies could be subsequently refined to further categorize different ice algae communities and their associated productivity in both Arctic and Antarctic waters.
Forrest, A. L., Lund-Hansen, L. C., Sorrell, B. K., Bowden-Floyd, I., Lucieer, V., Cossu, R., and Hawes, I.: Brief Communication: Capturing scales of spatial heterogeneity of Antarctic sea ice algae communities, The Cryosphere Discuss., doi:10.5194/tc-2016-186, 2016.