Polar Biology

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 733–750 | Cite as

Distribution and characterization of dissolved and particulate organic matter in Antarctic pack ice

  • I. DumontEmail author
  • V. Schoemann
  • D. Lannuzel
  • L. Chou
  • J.-L. Tison
  • S. Becquevort
Original Paper


Distribution and composition of organic matter were investigated in Antarctic pack ice in early spring and summer. Accumulation of organic compounds was observed with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and particulate organic carbon (POC) reaching 717 and 470 μM C, respectively and transparent exopolymeric particles (TEP) up to 3,071 μg Xanthan gum equivalent l−1. POC and TEP seemed to be influenced mainly by algae. Particulate saccharides accounted for 0.2–24.1% (mean, 7.8%) of POC. Dissolved total saccharides represented 0.4–29.6% (mean, 9.7%) of DOC, while dissolved free amino acids (DFAA) accounted for only 1% of DOC. Concentrations of TEP were positively correlated with those of saccharides. Monosaccharides (d-MCHO) dominated during winter–early spring, whereas dissolved polysaccharides did in spring–summer. DFAA were strongly correlated with d-MCHO, suggesting a similar pathway of production. The accumulation of monomers in winter is thought to result from limitation of bacterial activities rather than from the nature of the substrates.


Sea ice Organic carbon Monosaccharides Polysaccharides Amino acids TEP 



I. Dumont is supported by a FRIA (Fonds pour la Recherche en Industries Agronomiques) grant. The authors are grateful to the officers and crews of the R.V. Aurora Australis and RV Polarstern for their logistic assistance during the ARISE and ISPOL cruises. We would like to thank the Australian Antarctic Division, especially Ian Allison (Expedition Leader) and Rob Massom (Chief Scientist), for inviting us on the “ARISE in the East” endeavour and the AWI, especially Michael Spindler, David Thomas and Gerhard Dieckmann for allowing us to take part in the ISPOL campaign. The supports from Bruno Delille and Jeroen de Jong for field assistance, from Anne Trevena for her great help in the organization of the ARISE cruise, ice core sub-sampling and salinity measurements are greatly acknowledged. Frédéric Brabant is warmly thanked for helping with core handling. This work was carried out in the framework of the Belgian research program Action de Recherche Concertée “Sea Ice Biogeochemistry in a CLIMate change perspective” (ARC-SIBCLIM) financed by the Belgian French Community under contract no ARC-02/7- 318287. This is also a contribution to the European Network of Excellence EUR–OCEANS (contract no 511106-2) and to the BELCANTO project (contracts SD/CA/03A&B) financed by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office. The present study is a Belgian input to the SOLAS international research initiative.


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© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Dumont
    • 1
    Email author
  • V. Schoemann
    • 1
  • D. Lannuzel
    • 2
    • 4
  • L. Chou
    • 2
  • J.-L. Tison
    • 3
  • S. Becquevort
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecologie des Systèmes Aquatiques, Faculté des SciencesUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Océanographie Chimique et Géochimie des Eaux, Faculté des SciencesUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Unité de Glaciologie, Faculté des SciencesUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRCUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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