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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 635:25-36 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13218

Associations among temperature, sea ice and phytoplankton bloom dynamics in the Barents Sea

Kaixing Dong1,*, Kristina Øie Kvile1,2, Nils Chr. Stenseth1, Leif Chr. Stige1

1Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, PO Box 1066 Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
2Department of Biology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Variations in physical conditions caused by climate change are likely to have large influences on marine organisms, including phytoplankton. Here, we investigated associations between satellite-derived chlorophyll a data from the Barents Sea and 2 key abiotic factors: sea surface temperature and sea-ice concentration. Specifically, we investigated how climate variability, through the measured physical factors, associated with phytoplankton phenology between 1998 and 2014. Associations between sea surface temperature and phytoplankton bloom dynamics differed depending on the area. The spring phytoplankton bloom occurred earlier and had higher magnitude in warm compared to cold years in the northern part of the Barents Sea, but there was no significant association in the southern part. In seasonally ice-covered regions, the association between the timing of the sea-ice retreat and the phytoplankton peak was nonlinear: sea-ice retreat time before mid-May was not associated with bloom timing, whereas the phytoplankton bloom occurred before or immediately following the ice retreat when the ice retreated after mid-May. Although drivers that are relatively constant across years, such as insolation, probably influenced the spatial gradient in chlorophyll, a space-for-time substitution captured the predicted effects of sea-ice retreat on the timing and magnitude of the phytoplankton bloom quite well.


KEY WORDS: Barents Sea · Phytoplankton bloom · Sea ice · Temperature · Generalized additive models


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Cite this article as: Dong K, Kvile ØK, Stenseth NC, Stige LC (2020) Associations among temperature, sea ice and phytoplankton bloom dynamics in the Barents Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 635:25-36. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13218

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