Polar Biology

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 502–506 | Cite as

Copepods in summer platelet ice in the eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica

  • Sigrid B. Schnack-SchielEmail author
  • Gerhard S. Dieckmann
  • Gerhard Kattner
  • David N. Thomas
Short Note


Copepods in platelet-ice layers underlying fast ice and in the water column below were studied at Drescher Inlet, eastern Weddell Sea in February 1998. Three copepod species were found: Drescheriella glacialis and Paralabidocera antarctica occurred in platelet-ice layers, while Stephos longipes was only present in the water column. The distribution of all species varied considerably between station and depth. D. glacialis dominated the platelet-ice community and occurred at all five platelet-ice sampling sites, except one, with numbers of up to 26 ind. l−1. In contrast, P. antarctica was only found in low numbers (up to 2 ind. l−1) at one site. The total copepod abundance in the platelet ice was not associated with algal biomass, although it was strongly correlated with high ammonium concentrations (up to 9 μM) in the interstitial water between the platelets. This is the first indirect evidence to support the hypothesis that zooplankton excretion can partly account for the high ammonium values often found in platelet-ice layers.


Interstitial Water Copepod Species Copepodite Stage Platelet Layer Elevated Ammonium Concentration 
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.



We would like to thank the captain and crew of RV Polarstern and the pilots and crew of the Wasserthal helicopter service. J. Plötz and H. Bornemann provided vital help in the field, without which we could not have done the work. The work was partially funded by NERC, the British Council/DAAD, the Royal Society (joint project) and a fellowship to D.N.T. from the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study, Germany.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sigrid B. Schnack-Schiel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gerhard S. Dieckmann
    • 1
  • Gerhard Kattner
    • 1
  • David N. Thomas
    • 2
  1. 1.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und MeeresforschungBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.School of Ocean SciencesUniversity of Wales-BangorAngleseyUK

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