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Biomass, production and microhabitat characteristics near the freeboard of ice floes in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, during the austral summer

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The physical, chemical and biological characteristics of surface and free-board habitats in the summer pack ice in the eastern Ross Sea, Antarctica, were documented in a continuing effort to determine the factors controlling the distribution, production and succession of sea-ice biota. Three longitudinal transects from approximately 65° to 74° S in the western Ross Sea along 135°, 150° and 165° W were visited where samples of slush and slush interstitial water from surface and freeboard habitats as well as sea water were collected at every degree of latitude. Freeboard and surface habitats, found at all stations in the pack ice, contained a large range (five orders of magnitude) of micro-algal biomass (measured as chlorophyll a concentrations) and nutrients ranging from below levels of detection to those of the surrounding sea water. The geophysical attributes of the freeboard habitat (i.e. a layer of semi-consolidated ice overlying a layer containing unconsolidated ice crystals and sea water) are consistent with previous descriptions of this environment. However, additional information is presented on the range of biomass concentrations as well as the small-scale distributions of the habitat and biota.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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