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Preliminary investigation of Okhotsk Sea ice algae; taxonomic composition and photosynthetic activity

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 23:24 authored by Andrew McMinnAndrew McMinn, Hattori, H, Hirawake, T, Iwamoto, A
Okhotsk Sea pack ice from Shiretoko in northern Hokkaido, sampled in March 2007, contained microalgal communities dominated by the centric diatoms Thalassiosira nordenskioeldi and T. punctigera. Domination by this genus is very unusual in sea ice. Communities from nearby fast ice at Saroma-ko lagoon were dominated by Detonula conferavea and Odontella aurita. Average microalgal biomass of the Okhotsk Sea pack ice (surface and bottom) was 1.59 ± 1.09 lg chla l-1 and for fast ice (bottom only) at nearby Saroma-ko lagoon, 16.5 ± 3.2 lg l-1 (=31.1 ± 5.0 mg chla m-2). Maximum quantum yield of the Shiretoko pack ice algal communities was 0.618 ± 0.056 with species-specific data ranging between 0.211 and 0.653. These community values are amongst the highest recorded for sea ice algae. Rapid light curves (RLC) on individual cells indicated maximum relative electron transfer rates (relETR) between 20.8 and 60.6, photosynthetic efficiency values (a) between 0.31 and 0.93 and onset of saturation values (Ek) between 33 and 91 lmol photons m-2 s-1. These data imply that the pack ice algal community at Shiretoko was healthy and actively photosynthesising. Maximum quantum yield of the Saroma-ko fast ice community was 0.401 ± 0.086, with values for different species between 0.361 and 0.560. RLC data from individual Saroma-ko fast ice algal cells indicated relETR between 55.3 and 60.6, a values between 0.609 and 0.816 and Ek values between 74 and 91 lmol photons m-2 s-1 which are consistent with measurements in previous years.


Publication title

Polar Biology










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies



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Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems

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