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MEPS 501:25-40 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10688

Marginal impacts of rising temperature on Arctic benthic microalgae production based on in situ measurements and modelled estimates

Jana Woelfel1,2,*, Anja Eggert3, Ulf Karsten2

1Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Department of Marine Chemistry, Trace Gases, 18119 Rostock, Germany
2University of Rostock, Institute of Biological Sciences, Applied Ecology and Phycology, 18059 Rostock, Germany
3Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Department of Physical Oceanography and Instrumentation, Theoretical Oceanography and Numerical Modelling, 18119 Rostock, Germany
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Arctic microphytobenthic in situ net community production (NCP) was measured via the oxygen exchange rate in benthic chambers equipped with optical sensor spots at 3 representative sandy sites in Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, 79° N, 12° E) at 3 to 11 m water depth during June 2008. No significant differences were detected between stations and depths in either photoautotrophic biomass or primary production. All sites showed low but variable rates of NCP, ranging from -0.3 to +0.6 mmol O2 m-2 h-1 (-9 to +18 mg O2 m-2 h-1). The numerical model of Walsby (1997) was applied to estimate seasonal and regional rates of nearshore NCP for 2008 using in situ P/E curve parameters, solar global radiation, wind data and satellite-derived sea surface temperatures. The highest daily NCP rates of 15 to 18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1 were found throughout the Arctic spring and summer seasons (1 April until 31 August 2008) at shallow depths <15 m. The differences between modelled stratified and fully mixed water column conditions were small and in the range of 10%. Depth- and time-integrated NCP of the entire Kongsfjorden coastline during June 2008 yielded 9 t of O2. A predicted increase in the sea surface temperature by 2°C would have only a marginal impact on the NCP (<3%). Our model sensitivity analysis of the uncertainties associated with P/E curve parameters and Q10 values clearly showed a crucial dependence of NCP on the Q10 values. Thus, further studies on temperature dependence are required.


KEY WORDS: Arctic benthic diatoms · Respiration and net production · Biomass · Sediment characteristics · Benthic chambers · Kongsfjorden


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Cite this article as: Woelfel J, Eggert A, Karsten U (2014) Marginal impacts of rising temperature on Arctic benthic microalgae production based on in situ measurements and modelled estimates. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 501:25-40. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10688

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