Seasonal variation of algal growth conditions in sheltered Antarctic bays: the example of Potter Cove (King George Island, South Shetlands)

H. Klöser, G. Ferreyra, I. Schloss, G. Mercuri, F. Laturnus, A. Curtosi

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    Abstract

    Wind, air temperature, surface irradiance, light penetration into the water, salinity and water temperature have been recorded from mid November to mid February in Potter Cove, King George Island. Results are compared with published data on requirements for growth of Antarctic microalgae. The investigated season showed two distinct periods: Early summer lasted until end of December with comparatively cold temperatures, unstable water column and deep penetration of light; late summer started in early January and was characterized by reduced salinity due to meltwater discharge and high turbidity due to suspended sediments. Meltwater influence did not sufficiently change salinity to be responsible for the frequently noted paucity of macroalgal communities in sheltered bays. Shading by suspended sediments was equally considered to be of minor importance, as macroalgae have their optimal growth phase from September to December. During this period, light penetration and depth distribution of macroalgae coincide perfectly. From these results, a general review on depth limitation of macroalgae by light conditions is derived.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289-301
    JournalJournal of Marine Systems
    Volume4
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1993

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