Arctic mid-winter phytoplankton growth revealed by autonomous profilers

Arctic mid-winter phytoplankton growth revealed by autonomous profilers

September 28, 2020
Science

Through deployments of robotic ice-avoiding profiling floats from the CCGS Amundsen between 2017 and 2019, researchers from Takuvik Joint International Laboratory demonstrate that net phytoplankton growth occurred even under 100% ice cover as early as February and that it resulted at least partly from photosynthesis. This demonstration is strongly contrasting with the popular belief wanting that Arctic marine phytoplankton cannot grow until sea ice and snow cover start melting and transmit sufficient irradiance to allow photosynthesis.

These results highlight ”the adaptation of Arctic phytoplankton to extreme low-light conditions, which may be key to their survival before seeding the spring bloom.”

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