Polar Biology

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 347–356 | Cite as

The effect of melting treatments on the assessment of biomass and nutrients in sea ice (Saroma-ko lagoon, Hokkaido, Japan)

  • Arnout RoukaertsEmail author
  • Daiki Nomura
  • Florian Deman
  • Hiroshi Hattori
  • Frank Dehairs
  • François Fripiat
Original Paper


Melting of sea-ice samples is an inevitable step in obtaining reliable and representative measurements for biogeochemical parameters such as inorganic nutrients and particulate matter. The impact of the sea-ice melting procedure has been previously evaluated for biological parameters such as chlorophyll a and cell abundance. For nutrient and biomass concentrations in sea ice, it is generally considered to be best practice to melt samples fast; however, no systematic evaluation exists in literature. The impact of melting temperature and buffer addition to avoid osmotic shock was tested on ice samples in Saroma-ko Lagoon on the northeastern coast of Hokkaido, Japan. The focus was on inorganic nutrient concentrations (NO3, NO2, PO4, NH4+, Si(OH)4) and particulate organic carbon and nitrogen concentrations and their isotope ratios. Coherent small changes have been observed for the parameter related to nitrogen, suggesting marginal cell lysis of a specific part of the microbial community. When differences are statistically significant, they are close to the uncertainty of the measurements and small in regard to the expected natural variation in sea ice. Our study suggest a minimal effect between melting treatments on biomass (POC, PN, and Chl a) and nutrient measurements in diatom-dominated sea ice and should be repeated where the sympagic community is dominated by flagellates.


Sea ice Direct melting Buffered melting Nutrients Particulate matter Chlorophyll a Sea of Okhotsk 



We express our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Aoki Shigeru for their support in the fieldwork. This research was supported by funds from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (grant numbers 15K16135 and 17H0471507), International Antarctic Institute, Institute of Low Temperature Sciences, and BEPSII (SCOR). This study is a contribution to SCOR Working Group 152 ECV-Ice (Measuring Essential Climate Variables in Sea Ice).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

300_2018_2426_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Electronic supplementary material 1 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnout Roukaerts
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daiki Nomura
    • 2
    • 3
  • Florian Deman
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Hattori
    • 4
  • Frank Dehairs
    • 1
  • François Fripiat
    • 5
  1. 1.Analytical, Environmental and Geo-Chemistry & Earth System SciencesVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Fisheries SciencesHokkaido UniversityHakodateJapan
  3. 3.Arctic Research CenterHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  4. 4.Tokai UniversitySapporoJapan
  5. 5.Max Planck Institute for ChemistryMainzGermany

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