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Mycosporine-like amino acids in sea-ice algal communities


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Sea ice
Project topic
Climate research
Sea ice

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Fieldwork region
Cambridge Bay
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 69.1168641, -105.0596814

Fieldwork start
Fieldwork end

Project details

Science / project plan

To protect against damaging UV radiation (UVR; ~280-400nm), many marine phytoplankton are known to produce UV-absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs), but little is known about their presence in sea ice-covered Arctic waters. Understanding MAA presence and prevalence will aid in our understand of coping strategies of algal and phytoplankton communities to UVR exposure. With current changes in climatic conditions we are seeing decreasing trends in ice cover and thickness as well as increases in first-year ice. This greatly effects the UVR transmission through the sea ice and UVR exposure to sea ice associated communities. In this field campaign we hope to:

  1. identify specific MAAs in sea ice-covered Arctic waters
  2. compare and contrast MAA composition in these different algal communities
  3. investigate physical factors affecting the production of MAAs; and
  4. relate the presence of specific MAAs to key algal taxa

We will fulfill these objectives through the collection of water column, sea ice, melt pond and under melt pond sampling, specifically during the spring melt transition when we have previously identified a peak in the UV-absorption properties of these algal communities. Analysis will be done using high performance liquid chromatography with a UV-diode array detector. 

Fieldwork Site: Field camp, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada

Project Lead: A. Elliott. PI: CJ Mundy/F.Wang

Project Participants: Ashley Elliott (CEOS), Karley Campbell (CEOS); Aurelie Delaforge (CEOS), Jack Landy (CEOS), Aura Diaz (CEOS), Anne-Lise Ducluzeau (University of Fairbanks, Alaska), Dr. Jens Ehn (CEOS), Dr. CJ Mundy (CEOS), Dr. Feiyue Wang (CEOS)

Fieldwork summary/photo blog. Link to project summary report