sea ice biota aThe sea-ice related food web and biodiversity are critical components of the Arctic marine ecosystem. Higher trophic levels are directly or indirectly supported by over 2000 species of small algae and animals that are associated with sea ice, but are often inconspicuous to the naked eye.

These species inhabit a wide range of microhabitats inside the brine channel system, in melt ponds, leads, immediately underneath the ice, and including pressure ridges. The origin and age of sea ice influence the community composition of sea ice biota, with pronounced differences between annual landfast sea ice, offshore annual pack ice, and multiyear pack ice. Given the sea ice decline over at least the past few decades, shifts are expected in ice-associated biota.

The primary goals of the sea ice group in CBMP are to provide information on the biodiversity of sea ice biota and track their potential changes. We focus on four focal ecosystem components: Prokaryotic microbes; Ice algae and other protists; Sea-ice meiofauna; and Under-ice macrofauna. Given the lack of regular and systematic monitoring of sea ice biota, we rely on data compilations and meta-analysis.

Check out the latest Status and Trends on Sea Ice Biota

Sea Ice Biota Network

  • US: To be confirmed

  • Germany: Hauke FloresAlfred Wegener Institute Helmholz Center for Polar and Marine Research

 Sea ice biota publication list 

  • Ehrlich J, Schaafsma FL, Bluhm BA, Peeken I, Castellani G, Brandt A, Flores H (2020) Sympagic fauna in and under Arctic pack ice in the annual sea ice system of the new Arctic Frontiers in Marine Science 7:452. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00452   

  • Gradinger R, Bluhm BA (2020) First Arctic sea ice meiofauna food web analysis based on abundance, biomass and stable isotope ratios of sea ice metazoan fauna from near-shore Arctic fast ice. Marine Ecology Progress Series 634:29-43

  • Castellani G, Schaafsma FL, Arndt S, Lange BA, Peeken I, Ehrlich J, David C, Ricker R, Krumpen T, Hendricks S, Schwegmann S, Massictotte P, Flores H (2020) Large-Scale Variability of Physical and Biological Sea-Ice Properties in Polar Oceans. Frontiers in Marine Science7, p.536. 

  • Hop H, Vihtakari M, Bluhm B, Assmy P, Poulin M, Gradinger R, Peeken I, von Quillfeld C, Mork Olsen L, Zhitina L, Melnikov I (2020) Changes in sea/ice protist diversity with declining sea ice in the Arctic Ocean from the 1980s to 2010s. Frontiers in Marine Science 7:243.doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00243 

  • Kunisch E, Bluhm BA, Daase M, Gradinger R, Hop H, Melnikov IA, Varpe Ø, Berge J (2020) Pelagic occurrences of the ice amphipod Apherusa glacialis throughout the Arctic. Journal of Plankton Research 37, doi:10.1093/plankt/fbz072 

  • Limoges A, G Massé, K Weckström, M Poulin, M Ellegaard, M Heikkilä, N-X Geilfus, MK Sejr, S Rysgaard and S Ribeiro (2018) Spring succession and vertical export of diatoms and IP25 in a seasonally ice-covered high Arctic fjord. Frontiers in Earth Science 6:226. doi:10.3389/feart.2018.00226.   

  • Tremblay J-É, P Archambault, M Gosselin, S Bélanger, J Cullen, D Dumont, C Lovejoy, C. Nozais, M Poulin and S Rysgaard (2018) Arc3Bio (Marine biodiversity, biological productivity and biogeochemistry in the changing Canadian Arctic). In: Impacts of Environmental Change in the Canadian Coastal Arctic: A Compendium of Research Conducted During ArcticNet Phase IV (2016-17), pp. 279-303 (Edited by ArcticNet, M Lemay, A Gaden, C Barrette). ArcticNet Inc., Quebec City, Canada.   

  • Bluhm BA, Hop H, Vihtakari M, Gradinger R, Iken K, Melnikov IA, Søreide J (2018) Sea ice meiofauna: meta-analysis of distribution and abundance documents large variability on local to pan-Arctic scales and across seasons. Ecology and Evolution, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3797 

  • Hop, H, Bluhm BA, Melnikov IA, Poulin M, Vihtakari M, Collins RE, Gradinger R, Juul-Pedersen T and von Quillfeldt C (2018) Sea ice biota: excerpts from the State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report by the sea ice biota expert network/CBMP. Peer J, 6:e26822v1.   

  • Bluhm BA, Hop H, Melnikov IA, Poulin M, Vihtakari M, Collins RE, Gradinger R, Juul-Pedersen T, von Quillfeldt C (2017) 3.1 Sea ice biota. In: CAFF. State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna International Secretariat, Akureyri, Iceland, 978-9935-431-63-9 

  • Bluhm BA, Swadling K, Gradinger R (2017) Chapter 16. Sea ice as habitat for macrograzers. In: Sea ice. DN Thomas (editor), 3rd edition   

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