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Spatial distribution of phytoplankton productivity in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica

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Spatial distribution of phytoplankton productivity in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica
Lee, Sang Heon
Joo, HuiTae
Lee, Sang H.
Yun, Mi Sun
Shin, Hyoung Chul
Kim, Young Nam
Yang, Eun Jin
Kim, Bo Kyung
Biodiversity & Conservation; Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Amundsen Sea; Phytoplankton; Polynya; Primary productitivy
Issue Date
Lee, Sang Heon, et al. 2012. "Spatial distribution of phytoplankton productivity in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica". POLAR BIOLOGY, 35(11): 1721-1733.
To date, no direct measurements of primary production were taken in the Amundsen Sea, which is one of the highest primary productivity regions in the Antarctic. Phytoplankton carbon and nitrogen uptake experiments were conducted at 16 selected stations using a 13C?15N dual isotope tracer technique. We found no statistically significant depletions of major inorganic nutrients (nitrate + nitrite, ammonium, and silicate) although the concentrations of these nutrients were markedly reduced in the surface layer of the polynya stations where large celled phytoplankton (>20 μm) predominated (ca. 64 %). The average chl-a concentration was significantly higher at polynya stations than at non-polynya stations (p < 0.01). Average daily carbon and nitrogen uptake rates by phytoplankton at polynya stations were 2.2 g C m?2 day?1 (SD = ±1.4 g C m?2 day?1) and 0.9 g N m?2 day?1 (SD = ±0.2 g N m?2 day?1), respectively, about 5?10 times higher than those at non-polynya stations. These ranges are as high as those in the Ross Sea, which has the highest productivity among polynyas in the Antarctic Ocean. The unique productivity patterns in the Amundsen Sea are likely due to differences in iron limitation, phytoplankton productivity, the timing of phytoplankton growing season, or a combination of these factors.
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