Biological observations in the marginal ice zone of the East Greenland Sea
Abstract:The distribution of nutrients, phytoplankton and zooplankton was investigated during summer, 1983 in the marginal ice zone of the East Greenland Sea. Nutrient levels, especially inorganic nitrogen, were extremely low, and probably limited the growth of phytoplankton during this period. An ammonium maximum at the base of the euphotic zone, generally around 50 m, was found repeatedly and appeared to be controlled by active nitrogen regeneration and decreased ammonium uptake at low light levels. Chlorophyll a levels were elevated at the ice-edge, but were even higher in an area influenced by an eddy. Species of zooplankton were accurate indicators of the origin of the two major water masses in this area, and zooplanktonic biomass was similar to other polar regions. Calculations of their impact on phytoplankton distributions indicated that grazing losses resulting from ingestion by large copepads may have been small. The dynamics associated with mesoscale eddies appear to be important in introducing new nitrogen into the euphotic zone and structuring the distribution of plant biomass at the ice-edge of the East Greenland Sea.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1985-08-01
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