Indicator: Sea ice biota diversity, biomass and production

Installation of sediment traps under the sea ice. Photo: Peter Leopold, Norwegian Polar Institute

Sea ice biota diversity, biomass and production
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Rationale: The importance of ice-related ecosystems is significant. Ice algae is the prime food source for the majority of the ice fauna, thus fuelling the ice-related part of the ecosystem, and the significance increases further north due to lower pelagic production. The sympagic–pelagic–benthic coupling is of great importance in the Arctic. Reduced sea ice, especially a shift towards less multiyear sea ice, will affect species composition as well as biomass and production

Theme: Biotic

Component: Ice associated fauna

Type of indicator: E, state of the ecosystem

Priority of indicator: e, essential

• Ice algae biomass (CBMP)
• Ice algae species composition (CBMP)
• Ice algae chlorophyll-a concentration (CBMP)
• Ice algae diversity indices (CBMP)
• Macrofauna species composition (CBMP)
• Macrofauna abundance and biomass (CBMP)

Responsible institution:

Melosira arctica – key diatom species in the Arctic. Photo: Józef Wiktor. Source:

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