Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/tc-2016-186
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Brief communication
05 Oct 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
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 Hawes6 1Civil & 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
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.

Citation: 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, in review, 2016.
Alexander L. Forrest et al.
Alexander L. Forrest et al.
Alexander L. Forrest et al.

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Short summary
Measuring light conditions across sub-kilometer underwater transects of sea-ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), we were able to derive estimates of ice algae biomass living at the ice/ocean interface at an unprecedented resolution. Characterizing ice algae communities at the appropriate scales of ecosystem variability is critical to understanding present day conditions and to predict how ecosystem response under future climate change scenarios.
Measuring light conditions across sub-kilometer underwater transects of sea-ice in McMurdo...
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