Near-ubiquity of ice-edge blooms in the Arctic

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Abstract

Ice-edge blooms are significant features of Arctic primary production, yet have received relatively little attention. Here we combine satellite ocean colour and sea-ice data in a pan-Arctic study. Ice-edge blooms occur in all seasonally ice-covered areas and from spring to late summer, being observed in 77-89% of locations for which adequate data exist, and usually peaking within 20 days of ice retreat. They sometimes form long belts along the ice-edge (greater than 100 km), although smaller structures were also found. The bloom peak is on average more than 1 mg m -3 , with major blooms more than 10 mg m -3 , and is usually located close to the ice-edge, though not always. Some propagate behind the receding ice-edge over hundreds of kilometres and over several months, while others remain stationary. The strong connection between ice retreat and productivity suggests that the ongoing changes in Arctic sea-ice may have a significant impact on higher trophic levels and local fish stocks. © Author(s) 2011.

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Perrette, M., Yool, A., Quartly, G. D., & Popova, E. E. (2011). Near-ubiquity of ice-edge blooms in the Arctic. Biogeosciences, 8(2), 515–524. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-8-515-2011

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