Diatoms are responsible for around one-fifth of all photosynthetic processes around the globe. Each year, they generate as much organic carbon in the oceans as all the planet’s rainforests put together. In modern-day oceans, diatoms are the most successful organisms among phytoplankton.
Phytoplankton composition plays a major role in biogeochemical cycles of the ocean. The intensity of carbon fixation and export is strongly dependent on the phytoplankton community. Yet, the contribution of different types of phytoplankton to the total production on various communities is still poorly understood in the Indian Ocean sector of Southern Ocean (SO). Therefore the variability of chlorophyll- A (Chl-a) and diatoms in the frontal ecosystems of the Indian sector of SO have been investigated along with the sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface wind (SSW), photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and nutrients datasets for the period of 1998-2012. Combined analysis of in-situ, model and satellite observations indicate that the variability of Chl- A and diatoms were primarily influenced by light and wind. The Chl- A was higher at the sub-Antarctic front (SAF) followed by the sub-tropical front (STF) and the polar front (PF). The diatom concentration was higher at the SAF followed by the PF and STF. Maximum concentration of Chl- A and diatoms commonly observed at the SAF region are probably due to the moderate PAR, SST and wind. Dominance of diatoms at the PF may be attributed to their adaptability for low light conditions. The results from this study in the frontal ecosystems would help to understand the biogeochemical cycle of the Indian sector of the SO.
In Antarctic summer 1983/1984 samples of planktonie and attached diatoms were collected in the Admiralty Bay (King George Island, South Shetland Islands) as well as samples of planktonie diatoms in the region of South Orkneys, Drake Passage and Bransfield Strait (BIOMASS-SIBEX Project). Using gas chromatography residues of chloroorganic pesticides, namely the compounds of the DDT group and HCH isomers were determined. It was found that the highest values of the content of these compounds occurred in attached diatoms coming from areas continuously washed with water from the melting glacier, in planktonie diatoms from the samples of the Admiralty Bay and from strongly glaciated regions. A hypothesis was put forward that along with the direct atmospheric transport the release of the deposits of these compounds from ice and glaciers during their melting is an additional source of input of chloroorganic biocides into Antarctic waters. Diatoms are good indicators of this process.
The influence of Lindane on net phytoplankton (mainly diatoms) in samples of waters from the Antarctic was investigated for 24 hours from the introduction of ɣ HCH 0,02 and 2 ppm into the environment. Changes in intensity of 14C incorporation in the light and in rate of release of 14C by the cells in the dark during consecutive light/dark periods were measured. The effect of two different Lindane concentrations in diatoms occurred 16 hours after introduction of the compound into the environment and was independent of concentration. The effect was manifested by delayed induction of photosynthesis following the dark period and also by changes in dynamic equilibrium between carbon assimilation and dissimilation. The presence of Lindane clearly stimulated 14C incorporation in the light and also enhanced the participation of 14C incorporation in overall CO2 exchange in the dark.
Diatom assemblages from small pools and creeks on the Ecology Glacier forefield have been investigated. It is the first study in the Admiralty Bay region after the thorough taxonomic revision of the non-marine Antarctic diatom flora. A total of 122 diatom taxa, belonging to 35 genera were identified. More than 55% of all observed species have a restricted Antarctic distribution. Another 15% have a marine origin. Nitzschia gracilis Hantzsch, N. homburgiensis Lange-Bertalot and Planothidium rostrolanceolatum Van de Vijver et al. dominated the flora. Based on a DCA analysis, samples were subdivided in three groups reflecting ecological differences. Several samples (group 1) showed a mixed freshwater/marine diatom composition and are typical for coastal pools. Two other groups were separated based on the amount of limnoterrestrial taxa indicating the temporary character of some of the pools.
A total of sixty five taxa of marine phytoplankton (diatoms, dinoflagellates, silicoflagellates and cyanoprokaryotes) were recorded in the transect from the cold region of the Antarctic (Weddell Sea) up to La Plata Bay, Argentine in the late austral summer (March 1989). Diatoms were the dominant group in a south-north transect from the Seal-Bay (Princess Martha Land, the Antarctic). Most of the phytoplankton species of the cold Antarctic region disappeared around 50°S where there is a steep water temperature gradient. The diatom flora declined in the regions of increasing temperature, i.e. between 60° and 50° S and was replaced by dinoflagellates of the genus Ceratium. Large centric diatom genera Corethron, Rhizosolenia, Chaetoceros and Dactyliosolen represented the most apparent phytoplankton part. The most common of the small centric diatom genera were Thalassiosira, Asteromphalus, Actinocyclus and Coscinodiscus, while several species of Navicula and Nitzschia were the most abundant pennate forms. The presence of a considerable number of freshwater pennate diatoms, characterized as indifferent in the halobion spectrum and mostly periphytic, might be attributed to survival strategies during their development on the floating coastal ice.
Net phytoplankton was studied in 10 stations situated west of Elephant Island along three transects located in the Scotia Front zone and in 2 stations situated in the eastern Bransfield Strait. Altogether 70 algal taxa were identified. Phytoplankton density and seston biomass were the highest in stations neighbouring the Scotia Front from the south. In the Scotia Front region Corethron criophilum was a dominant species. Phytoplankton community of the region is rather uniform, however the closer comparison of the phytoplankton species composition allowed to distinguish 4 stations groups. This division is concordant with the hydrological one. A different phytoplankton community was recorded in the eastern part of the Bransfield Strait.
Phytoplankton sampling from 13 stations situated in Admiralty Bay was carried out in March. April, May, October and November 1983. Wet settling volume of seston, its dry weight, number of cells under 1 m2 , and qualitative composition of phytoplankton were determined. It was found that amount of phytoplankton was decreasing in April and increasing again in November after the winter season. The share of benthic and periphyton species in the qualitative composition of phytoplankton was quite significant, whereas their quantitative share was rather small. 163 taxa of algae were identified in the net phytoplankton; among these 107 taxa were reported for the first time from the Admiralty Bay. Most abundantly met throughout the entire study period were: Corethron criophilum and Thalassiothrix antarctica.
Triceratium barbadense Greville, 1861a, T. brachiatum Brightwell, 1856, T. inconspicuum Greville, 1861b and T. kanayae Fenner, 1984a, are among the most common diatoms reported worldwide from lower to middle Eocene biosiliceous sediments. Due to complicated nomenclatural histories, however, they are often confused. A morphometric analysis performed herein indicates that T. brachiatum is conspecific with T. inconspicuum, and that both were previously often misidentified as T. barbadense. Triceratium barbadense sensu stricto is a distinct species similar to Triceratium castellatum West, 1860. Triceratium brachiatum and T. kanayae are transferred herein to a new genus, Fenneria, for which a close phylogenetic relationship with Medlinia Sims, 1998 is proposed. A review of the geographic and stratigraphic distribution of Fenneria shows that the best constrained records of its occurrences are found at DSDP Site 338, and ODP Sites 1051 and 1260. The ages of the base (B) and top (T) of each species’ stratigraphic range are calibrated here to the Geomagnetic Polarity Timescale either directly or inferred via correlation with dinocyst biostratigraphy. Latitudinal diachroneity of ~7 million years is documented for F. brachiata, which disappears earlier in tropical and mid-latitude sites than in the northern high latitudes. These observations, coupled with a preliminary compilation of the Chron C20n taxonomic composition of pelagic diatom assemblages for Sites 338, 1051 and 1260, indicate that diatoms diversified palaeobiogeographically considerably earlier than the Eocene−Oligocene Transition, as commonly believed. This study also emphasizes the importance of the detailed examination of specimens from both museum collections and deep-sea cores as a step toward enhancing the utility of Palaeogene diatoms in palaeoceanographic and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions.
Influence exerted by various concentrations (0.01 to 50 ppm) of some chlorinated hydrocarbons (Aroclor 1254, Aroclor 1242, pp'DDE, pp'DDT and Lindane (ɣ НСН)) upon the photosynthetic assimilation of 14C02 in Antarctic marine diatom assemblage dominated by Corethron criophilum and some species of Nitzschia (Fragilariopsis group) has been investigated. The photosynthesis was fully inhibited by Lindane (ɣ HCH) in all applied concentrations To smaller extent the photosynthetic process was inhibited in turn by Aroclor 1242, pp'DDE and pp'DDT successively. Aroclor 1254 proved to be the least toxic. The possibility of the decrease of the primary production of the Antarctic diatoms caused by the chlorinated hydrocarbons was discussed.
Experiments have been carried out on the influence exerted by Aroclor 1254 upon the photosynthetic production of organic 14C by an assemblage of marine Antarctic diatoms (Thalassiosira sp. 48%, Nitzschia sp. 21%, Chaetoceros sp. 15% and Corethron iriophilum 10%). Samples of various numbers of cells per cm3 of water have been used. Incorporation of 14C02 by the diatoms proved to be proportional to the increased number of cells in the sample only at the lowest levels of concentration in per cm3. Further increase of the level of 14C in diatoms has not been found as number of cells in the sample kept growing. Calculation of brutto photosynthesis has indicated that low concentration of Aroclor 1254 (0,01 to 1 ppm) may stimulate the photosynthetic incorporation of carbon, yet the photosynthetic release of carbon from cells within the photorespiratory process is stimulated to a higher degree. High concentration of Aroclor (1 to 50 ppm) inhibit the brutto assimilation, yet the release of carbon during the photorespiratory process is inhibited to a higher degree. A hypothesis is being considered implying that the relation between the intensity of photosynthesis and intensity of photorespiration may vary according to the rate of concentration of Aroclor.
Low concentrations of phytoplankton (average 2.5 x 104 to б.0 х 105 cells l-1) were found at ten stations surveyed in the region of the Weddell-Scotia Confluence. Phytoflagellates represented mainly by 1—3 μm picoplankton were prevalent among the algae, contributing 65—100% to the total numbers: this group is observed to dominate over diatoms in areas of intensive water mixing. Maximum concentrations of phytoplankton at one station, reaching down to 200 m, were due to a physical aggregation of cells by confluencing and downwelling waters. The average for the water column quantities of the same algal groups were nearly identical at most stations, but peak numbers occurred in the 0—75 m surface layer. Differences in diatom assemblages were associated with the complex hydrography of the WSC region.
Altogether 105 algal taxa were identified including 101 diatom species. Chaetoceros criophilus was dominant in the western part of the study area influenced by waters from the Bellingshausen Sea. Corethron criophilum was abundant in the Weddcll Sea water mass found to the east of 53.5°W meridian. Nitzschia cylindrus common in the ice-melt samples was dominant in only two net phytoplankton collections obtained at the ice-edge zone. Additional samples from Admiralty Bay, at King George Island revealed the dominance of Chaetoceros socialis and the presence of many tychoplankton species. Very few diatom cells were found in the open waters of the Bransfield Strait which combined with the presence of krill, suggested intensive grazing by herbivores. The unstable waters of the Weddell-Scotia Confluence area contained little phytoplankton except for a station dominated by Phaeocystis pouchetii. Greater cell densities were related to warm, lower salinity Weddell Sea water of summer modification found in the surface layer east from 49°W.
At the northern border of pack ice the study on chlorophyll a content, density of cells, species composition and domination in samples from the drifting ice floes and from brash ice was carried out. 102 taxa of algae were found in the pack ice. In the study area algal taxa were rather uniformly distributed. In different ice layers the qualitative composition of diatom assemblages was similar and usually the diatom Nitzschia cylindrus was dominant and most frequent. Chlorophyll a content (from 0.12 to 334.5 mg m-3) and the density of cells (from 0.3 to 362 x l0 6 cm) varied strongly in various habitats. Ice floes near the northern pack ice border contained low values of chlorophyll a (mean value 0.50 ±0.28 mg m-3) . However, brash sea ice originating from ice floes, contained 142.4 ±117.5 mg m-3 of chlorophyll α in visibly discoloured and 30.1 ±24.3 mg m~3 of chlorophyll α in not visibly discoloured parts on average. The range of chlorophyll α content and the presence of characteristic species allow to distinguish brash sea ice infiltration assemblage of diatoms.
104 algal taxa (31 blue-green algae, 48 diatoms and 25 green algae) were identified from 18 stands of tundra soils in the Kaffiöyra Plain (Oscar II Land, NW Spitsbergen). Basing on numerical analysis by the reciprocal averaging method and on hierarchic classification based on ."distinguishing species", two groups of stands were distinguished: moist and wet ones characterized by diatoms, and dry and drying ones characterized by blue-green algae.
A sediment core, 350 cm long recovered from Młynek Lake, northern of Poland (Warmia and Masuria Region) was analyzed with respect to their content of diatoms and chrysophyte cysts. The aim was to reconstruct the lake water level and climatic changes during the past 2500 years. The recognized diatom assemblages displayed marked floristic changes along the sediment core samples. The main change in diatom composition consists of a shift from an assemblage dominated by benthic Fragilaria sensu lato species through marked intervals to a planktonic one in distinct zones. A high proportion of benthic to plankton taxa has been reported as indicative for a lowering of the lake level with long ice cover in a cold dry climate and a shift from benthic to planktonic diatom taxa reflects arising water level with longest growing season and reduced ice cover on the lake during a warm wet climate. Multivariate statistical analysis included hierarchical ascending clustering distinguished four diatom ecological groups. The analyzed core section was divided into 11 diatom zones according to a distribution of ecological groups and variation in abundance of dominant species supported by 14C data. The results displayed a developmental history of the Młynek Lake that can be divided into 6 main phases of alternating warm wet and cold dry shifts. A distinct dominance of planktonic eutrophic indicator diatoms accompanied by a low abundance of chrysophyte cysts indicates increased lake trophicity and a general trend for the increasing anthropogenic impact.
A sediment core (LS-1) collected from Long Lake in King George Island, South Shetland Islands (West Antarctica) was analyzed for a variety of textural, geochemical, isotopic and paleontological properties together with 14C age dates. These data combined with published records of other studies provide a detailed history of local/regional postglacial paleoproductivity variation with respect to terrestrial paleoclimate change. The lithologic contrast of a lower diamicton and an upper fine-grained sediment demonstrates glacial recession and subsequent lake formation. The upper fine-grained deposit, intercalated by mid-Holocene tephra-fallout followed by a tephra gravity flow, was formed in a lacustrine environment. Low total organic carbon (TOC) and biogenic silica (Sibio) contents with high C/N ratios characterize the diamicton, whereas an increase of TOC and Sibio contents characterize the postglacial lacustrine fine-grained sediments, which are dated at c. 4000 yrBP. More notable are the distinct TOC maxima, which may imply enhanced primary productivity during warm periods. Changes in Sibio content and δ13C values, which support the increasing paleoproductivity, are in sympathy with these organic matter variations. The uniform and low TOC contents that are decoupled by Sibio contents are attributed to the tephra gravity flows during the evolution of the lake rather than a reduced paleoproductivity. A very recent TOC maximum is also characterized by high Sibio content and δ13C values, clearly indicating increased paleoproductivity consequent upon gradual warming across King George Island . Comparable with changes in sediment geochemistry, the occurrence and abundance of several diatom species corroborate the paleoproductivity variations together with the lithologic development. However, the paleoclimatic signature in local terrestrial lake environment during the postglacial period (for example the Long Lake) seems to be less distinct, as compared to the marine environment.
Diatomaceous ooze sampled from near the Mariana Trench sediment surface by gravity corer (Core JL7KGC05) revealed a high sedimentary abundance of Ethmodiscus rex (Rattray, 1890) Wiseman and Hendey, 1953 fragments and tropical open ocean planktonic diatom taxa including Azpeitia nodulifera (Schmidt, 1878) Fryxell and Watkins in Fryxell, Sims and Watkins, 1986 and Alveus marinus (Grunow, 1880) Kaczmarska and Fryxell, 1996. Subsurficial sediments from the ooze are assigned a Marine Isotope Stage 2 age, approximately at the Last Glacial Maximum. The occurrence of Ethmodiscus ooze suggests massive late Pleistocene blooms in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and provides a plausible link to paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic changes related to Antarctic Intermediate Water mass, which carried a high dissolved silica content as silicon leakage that reduced dissolution rate of diatom frustules. Northward flow of Antarctic Intermediate Water was probably related to surface current migration and southward shift of the Northwest Pacific Gyre to form oligotrophic conditions that triggered Ethmodiscus rex blooms under unusual nutrient recycling conditions within the ocean system. This bloom hypothesis may help explain differential silica dissolution during the last glacial stage.
Luticola muticopsis is a characteristic species of polar and subpolar regions. Its morphological variability is not yet precisely described. In the investigated population the cells from capitate to shortened, flat rounded tips were observed. The range of dimensions of specimens was 8.8-40.6 μm x 5.5-17.6 μm, striae 11-22/10 μm; this range considerably exceeded that found in holotype diagnosis.