Eukaryotic communities from two adjacent Arctic fjords (Spitsbergen) with glacial melting


Wednesday May 2, 2012
Redfield Auditorium - 12:00 Noon
Dr Anouk Piquet
University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden are two adjacent fjords located in western Spitsbergen. During summertime substantial glacial melt water events occur, leading to pronounced surface stratification. Changes in physico-chemical conditions within the fjord are expected to affect the composition and structure of phytoplankton communities.

Samples were collected from outer (ocean) to inner stations for both fjords, from early spring to mid-summer, including the glacial melting period. Pigment analysis (HPLC/CHEMTAX) showed a phytoplankton bloom developing differently in biomass and composition between sampling locations and fjords. Near the glacier smaller phytoplankton classes dominated, while larger classes (diatoms) prevailed at the outer station. Molecular analysis (DGGE and sequencing) showed similar differences over time, depth and location. Environmental factors (abiotic and biotic) responsible for shaping the eukaryotic community fingerprints differed from outer to inner stations and between fjords. Our data suggest modification of coastal phytoplankton by glacial melt water input, in favor of smaller species.