Nutrient stress gradient in the bottom 5 cm of fast ice, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
- Cite this article as:
- McMinn, A., Skerratt, J., Trull, T. et al. Polar Biol (1999) 21: 220. doi:10.1007/s003000050356
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One-centimeter-scale vertical sampling of fast ice from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica reveals evidence of progressive nutrient limitation with distance above the ice/water interface. Over the bottom 6 cm photosynthetically active radiation increases by between 1.8 and 3 times, C:N increases from 6.8 to 19.8 and δ13C increases from −18 to −12. Fatty acid composition also changes with a consistent decline in polyunsaturated fatty acids and a rise in saturated fatty acids. These factors all suggest severe and progressive nutrient limitation with distance from the ice/water interface.