Sea ice presence is linked to higher carbon export and vertical microbial connectivity in the Eurasian Arctic Ocean

Eduard Fadeev, Andreas Rogge, Simon Ramondenc, Eva-Maria Nöthig, Claudia Wekerle, Christina Bienhold, Ian Salter, Anya M. Waite, Laura Hehemann, Antje Boetius, Morten H. Iversen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Arctic Ocean sea ice cover is shrinking due to warming. Long-term sediment trap data shows higher export efficiency of particulate organic carbon in regions with seasonal sea ice compared to regions without sea ice. To investigate this sea-ice enhanced export, we compared how different early summer phytoplankton communities in seasonally ice-free and ice-covered regions of the Fram Strait affect carbon export and vertical dispersal of microbes. In situ collected aggregates revealed two-fold higher carbon export of diatom-rich aggregates in ice-covered regions, compared to Phaeocystis aggregates in the ice-free region. Using microbial source tracking, we found that ice-covered regions were also associated with more surface-born microbial clades exported to the deep sea. Taken together, our results showed that ice-covered regions are responsible for high export efficiency and provide strong vertical microbial connectivity. Therefore, continuous sea-ice loss may decrease the vertical export efficiency, and thus the pelagic-benthic coupling, with potential repercussions for Arctic deep-sea ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1255 (2021)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalCommunications Biology
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Pelagic-Benthic coupling
  • Sea-ice
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Microbes
  • Biological carbon pump
  • Diatom
  • climate change
  • Sediment trap
  • Fram Strait
  • FRAM

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