Arctic mid-winter phytoplankton growth revealed by autonomous profilers

Type Article
Date 2020-09
Language English
Author(s) Randelhoff Achim1, 2, 3, Lacour Léo1, 2, 3, Marec Claudie1, 2, 4, Leymarie Edouard5, Lagunas José1, 3, Xing Xiaogang6, Darnis Gérald1, 2, 3, Penkerc’h Christophe5, Sampei Makoto7, Fortier Louis1, 2, 3, D’ortenzio Fabrizio5, Claustre HervéORCID5, Babin Marcel1, 2, 3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Takuvik Joint International Laboratory, Université Laval ,QC, Canada
2 : CNRS , France
3 : Département de biologie, Université Laval and Québec-Océan, QC, Canada.
4 : Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, 29280 Plouzané, France.
5 : Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV), 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France.
6 : State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou, China.
7 : Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, Hakodate 041-8611, Japan.
Source Science Advances (2375-2548) (American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)), 2020-09 , Vol. 6 , N. 39 , P. eabc2678 (10p.)
DOI 10.1126/sciadv.abc2678
WOS© Times Cited 32

It is widely believed that during winter and spring, Arctic marine phytoplankton cannot grow until sea ice and snow cover start melting and transmit sufficient irradiance, but there is little observational evidence for that paradigm. To explore the life of phytoplankton during and after the polar night, we used robotic ice-avoiding profiling floats to measure ocean optics and phytoplankton characteristics continuously through two annual cycles in Baffin Bay, an Arctic sea that is covered by ice for 7 months a year. We 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 highlights 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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Randelhoff Achim, Lacour Léo, Marec Claudie, Leymarie Edouard, Lagunas José, Xing Xiaogang, Darnis Gérald, Penkerc’h Christophe, Sampei Makoto, Fortier Louis, D’ortenzio Fabrizio, Claustre Hervé, Babin Marcel (2020). Arctic mid-winter phytoplankton growth revealed by autonomous profilers. Science Advances, 6(39), eabc2678 (10p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :