Polar Biology

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 13–29 | Cite as

Seasonal progression of diatom assemblages in surface waters of Ryder Bay, Antarctica

  • Amber L. AnnettEmail author
  • Damien S. Carson
  • Xavier Crosta
  • Andrew Clarke
  • Raja S. Ganeshram
Original Paper


Phytoplankton assemblages from seasonally sea-ice covered Ryder Bay (Adelaide Island, Antarctica) were studied over three austral summers (2004–2007), to link sea-ice variability and environmental conditions with algal speciation. Typical of near-shore Antarctic waters, biomass was dominated by large diatoms, although the prymnesiophyte Phaeocystis antarctica was numerically dominant. Although there was considerable interannual variability between main diatom species, high biomass of certain species or species groups corresponded consistently to certain phases of seasonal progression. We present the first documentation of an extensive bloom of the late-season diatom Proboscia inermis in February 2006, accounting for over 90% of diatom biomass. At this time, water column stratification and nutrient drawdown were high relative to other periods of the study, although carbon export was relatively low. Melt water flux in this region promotes well-stratified surface waters and high chlorophyll levels, but not necessarily concurrent increases in export production relative to seasons with lower freshwater inputs.


Diatoms Phytoplankton Seasonality Sea-ice Coastal Antarctic Proboscia inermis 



This project was funded by NERC Antarctic Funding Initiative 4-02 and the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Program. The authors would like to thank the Bonner Laboratory marine science team at Rothera Research Station (2004–2007), and Nicola Cayzer for assistance with SEM analysis. Constructive comments were provided by Claire Allen and an anonymous reviewer to improve and clarify the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amber L. Annett
    • 1
    Email author
  • Damien S. Carson
    • 1
  • Xavier Crosta
    • 2
  • Andrew Clarke
    • 3
  • Raja S. Ganeshram
    • 1
  1. 1.Grant Institute, School of GeoSciencesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.UMR-CNRS 5805 EPOCUniversite Bordeaux 1Talence CedexFrance
  3. 3.British Antarctic SurveyCambridgeUK

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