Marine Biology

, Volume 121, Issue 2, pp 381–387 | Cite as

A new source of dimethylsulfide (DMS) for the arctic atmosphere: ice diatoms

  • M. Levasseur
  • M. Gosselin
  • S. Michaud


We report the first evidence that pennate diatoms growing within the bottom layer of first-year ice in the Arctic produce significant amounts of particulate dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSPp) and dissolved DMSP+DMS. In 1992 in Resolute Passage, a tributary of Barrow Strait, DMSPp concentrations within the bottom layer of ice reached 1055 mg S m-3 at the end of the vernal bloom, a value one order of magnitude higher than the maximum value reported in antarctic ice. Bottom-ice concentrations in DMSPp and DMSPd+DMS were significantly correlated with the abundance of the dominant pennate diatom Nitzschia frigida. Intracellular concentration in DMSP of ice algae was very low (0.001 pg cell-1) at the end of April when algae were light-limited and reached 1.17 pg cell-1 in mid-May following an increase in light and algal growth. We calculate that the rapid release of the dissolved DMSP+DMS from the ice into surface waters following the ice break-up will generate a sea-to-air DMS flux of 0.7 mg S m-2 d-1, a pulse ten times higher than the mean arctic summer flux. We estimate that this 1-d pulse represents up to 5% of the annual DMS emission in the Arctic.


Bottom Layer Algal Growth Rapid Release Dimethylsulfide Pennate Diatom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Levasseur
    • 1
  • M. Gosselin
    • 2
  • S. Michaud
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut Maurice-LamontagneMinistère des Pêches et des OcéansMont-JoliCanada
  2. 2.Département d'océanographieUniversité du Québec à RimouskiRimouskiCanada

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