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DMSP and DMS cycling within Antarctic sea ice during the winter–spring transition

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 20:24 authored by Damm, E, Nomura, D, Martin, AR, Dieckmann, GS, Klaus MeinersKlaus Meiners
This study describes within-ice concentrations of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), its degradation product dimethylsulphide (DMS), as well as nutrients and chlorophyll a, that were sampled during the Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems eXperiment-2 (SIPEX-2) in 2012. DMSP is a methylated substrate produced in large amounts annually by ice-associated microalgae, while DMS plays a significant role in carbon and sulphur cycling in the Southern Ocean. In the East Antarctic study area between 115–125°E and 64–66°S, ice and slush cores, brine, under-ice seawater and zooplankton (Antarctic krill) samples were collected at 6 ice stations. The pack-ice was characterised by high snow loading which initiated flooding events and triggered nutrient supply to the sea-ice surface, while variation in ice conditions influenced sea-ice permeability. This ranged from impermeable surface and middle sections of the sea ice, to completely permeable ice cores at some stations. Chlorophyll a maxima shifted from the sea-ice surface horizon at the first station to the sea ice bottom layer at the last station. Highest DMSP concentrations were detected in brine samples at the sea-ice surface, reflecting a mismatch with respect to the distribution of chlorophyll a. Our data suggest enhanced DMSP production by sea-ice surface algal communities and its release into brine during freezing and melting, which in turn is coupled to flooding events early in the season. A time-cycle of DMS production by DMSP degradation and DMS efflux is evident at the sea ice-snow interface when slush is formed during melt. Seawater under the ice contained only low concentrations of DMSP and DMS, even when brine drainage was evident and the sea ice became permeable. We postulate that in situ grazing by zooplankton may act as sink for the DMSP produced early in the season.


Publication title

Deep-Sea Research. Part 2








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments

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