Sea ice microbial communities (SIMCO) in the Western Antarctic Peninsula Region

Affiliation(s) PI/CoPI Project Period Funded by
DEES Fritsen, Chris 09/2000 - 08/2002 National Science Foundation
— Office of Polar Programs*
*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. OPP-9910098. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.

Keywords: sea ice, microbial communities, krill population dynamics

Project Description

One of the central hypotheses of the U.S. Southern Ocean GLOBEC program (see SO GLOBEC) is that an early forming ice cover is key to providing food reserves within sea ice (algae, detritus, etc.) necessary for juvenile krill survival during winter. Therefore, we are currently implementing an interdisciplinary sea ice program with the objectives of assessing the small-scale (centimeters to meters) and meso-scale (kilometers) distributions and activities of the sea ice microbial communities (SIMCO) and their controlling factors in the region of Marguerite Bay (a region identified as one that has large overwinter Antarctic krill -Euphasia superba- populations). Coupling our sea ice program within the interdisciplinary SO-GLOBEC program that includes work on ocean circulation, krill recruitment and krill physiology is allowing an assessment of the strength of the coupling between physical oceanographic and meteorological processes to krill population dynamics through the bottom-up controls thought to be imposed by sea ice biota.

A. Accessing ice floes via personnel basket. B. Obtaining ice cores for physical, chemical and biological analysis. C. Measuring ice and snow thickness. D.  Sea ice bacteria (ca. 4 micrometers in length) stained with SYBER Gold and viewed with epifluorescence microscopy.
A. Accessing ice floes via personnel basket. B. Obtaining ice cores for physical, chemical and biological analysis. C. Measuring ice and snow thickness. D. Sea ice bacteria (ca. 4 micrometers in length) stained with SYBER Gold and viewed with epifluorescence microscopy.

 

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