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Authors: Tedesco, L.* 
Vichi, M.* 
Thomas, D.* 
Title: Process studies on the ecological coupling between sea ice algae and phytoplankton
Issue Date: 2012
Series/Report no.: /226(2012)
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.11.011
Keywords: Sea ice
; Ecosystem modelling; Acclimation; Adaptation; Seeding; Climate change
Subject Classification02. Cryosphere::02.01. Permafrost::02.01.02. Cryobiology 
02. Cryosphere::02.04. Sea ice::02.04.99. General or miscellaneous 
03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.01. Analytical and numerical modeling 
03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.07. Physical and biogeochemical interactions 
03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.01. Biogeochemical cycles 
Abstract: The seasonal dynamics of pelagic and sea ice communities are closely related in ice-covered waters, however, modelling works that analyse such interactions are scarce. We use the Biogeochemical Flux Model in Sea Ice (BFM-SI) coupled to the pelagic Biogeochemical Flux Model (BFM) in a study area in Greenland to quantitatively investigate: (1) the significance of photoacclimation/photoadaptation strategies of autotrophs, (2) the fate of the sea ice biomass in case of algae seeding, algae aggregation and at different mixed layer depths and (3) the changes in community production under a climate change scenario. The results show that sea ice algae need to be both photoacclimated and photoadapted to the sea ice environment in order to grow, while phytoplankton may adopt different strategies for optimising their growth. The seeding of the phytoplankton bloom shows to be driven, both in timing and magnitude, by the viability of sea ice algae and by the degree of aggregation of algae released from the ice, which also affects the sinking rate to the sea floor. Under a mild climate change scenario (SRES B2, 2071–2090) the sea ice community is projected to be generally more productive, whereas phytoplankton growth will be reduced because the melt of sea ice will occur earlier in the season when light is less favourable to sustain the growth. While it is generally anticipated that the melting of multi-year ice in the Arctic Ocean will cause an increase in marine production, this study shows that seasonal ice-covered seas in the Northern hemisphere may actually be less productive and may shift to more oligotrophic conditions within the next 100 years.
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