Polar Biology

, Volume 12, Issue 6–7, pp 609–627 | Cite as

Fragilariopsis cylindrus (Grunow) Krieger: The most abundant diatom in water column assemblages of Antarctic marginal ice-edge zones

  • Sung-Ho Kang
  • Greta A. Fryxell


Planktonic diatoms were sampled in the ice-edge zone of the Bellingshausen Sea during the early austral spring of 1990 and of the Weddell Sea during the late spring of 1983, the autumn of 1986, and the winter of 1988. The four cruises in the Antarctic marginal ice edge zones, combined with the summer cruise in Prydz Bay during a brief ice-free period (1988) provided us with opportunities for spatial and seasonal studies of diatom abundance and distribution in the water column. Cells from discrete water samples from 73 stations near the marginal ice-edge zones during all seasons were counted to gain quantitative information on the composition, abundance, and distribution of diatoms. Diatom abundance was dominated by the pennate diatom, usually nanoplanktonic, Fragilariopsis cylindrus (Grunow) Krieger, during all five cruises. The highest integrated numbers of F. cylindrus were found during the summer cruise with 7.9 × 1010 cells m−2 and the lowest numbers were found during the winter cruise with 1.1 × 108 cells m−2. The average integrated abundance of F. cylindrus from the five cruises was about 35% of the total diatom abundance. The overall spatial pattern of F. cylindrus near the marginal ice-edge zones during the five seasonal cruises were similar with the highest number of cells in open waters compared to ice-covered waters. When all 73 stations during the five cruises were included in the correlation analysis, the abundance of total diatoms was positively correlated with the abundance of F. cylindrus, suggesting that the ice-edge pulses of diatom assemblages in the water column largely reflected its abundance. Cluster analysis revealed that the stations in marginal ice-edge zones were not only separated by seasons and locations, but they also separated based on location of stations in relation to the ice edge (open water stations vs. ice-covered stations).


Diatom Assemblage Diatom Abundance Total Diatom Open Water Station Summer Cruise 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sung-Ho Kang
    • 1
  • Greta A. Fryxell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OceanographyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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