Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Structuring of the sea ice environment by dynamic ice-algae activity

Photo: Arild Ystanes
Photo: Arild Ystanes

Ice-algae live within a network of mm-scale brine channels within the lower few cm of sea ice and finding appropriate methods to explore how they interact with their environment on such small spatial scales is a major challenge in sea ice research. Not only are the scale and 3-D structure challenging, but the habitat is temporally dynamic as temperature fluctuations drive transitions between ice and brine components of the matrix.  To complicate things still more there is growing evidence that extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and ice-binding proteins excreted by the ice-algae may also modify the physical structure of sea-ice and thereby improve the habitat suitability in the ice matrix, with a potential increase in primary production and growth.


Hans Ramløv, Roskilde University
Lars Chresten Lund-Hansen, Aarhus University
Brian Sorrell, Aarhus University
Ian Hawes, Gateway Antarctica, University of Christchurch, New Zealand

For more information, contact Lars Chresten Lund-Hansen