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Dissolved carbohydrates in Antarctic sea ice

  • L.-M. Herborg (a1), D.N. Thomas (a1), H. Kennedy (a1), C. Haas (a2) and G.S. Dieckmann (a2)...

Abstract

Concentrations of dissolved monocarbohydrates (MCHO) and polycarbohydrates (PCHO) were analysed in a variety of ice habitats from summer Weddell Sea sea ice (surface ponds, ice cores, gap layers and platelet ice). The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) pool in these habitats was also measured and the contribution of carbohydrate to this pool was assessed. The DOC concentrations within all sea ice habitats were high compared to surface seawater concentrations with values up to 958μMC being measured. Total carbohydrates (TCHO) were highest in the ice cores and platelet ice samples, up to 31% of the DOC pool, a reflection of the high algal biomass in these two habitat classes. TCHO in the other habitats ranged between 10% and 29% of DOC. The ratios of MCHO to PCHO varied considerably between the ice habitats: in surface ponds and ice cores MCHO was 70% of the TCHO pool, whereas in gap layers and platelet ice there were lower PCHO concentrations resulting in MCHO being 88% of TCHO.

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Corresponding author: d.thomas@bangor.ac.uk

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