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Data from: Primary production calculations for sea ice from bio-optical observations in the Baltic Sea

Cite this dataset

Müller, Susann et al. (2017). Data from: Primary production calculations for sea ice from bio-optical observations in the Baltic Sea [Dataset]. Dryad.


Bio-optics is a powerful approach for estimating photosynthesis rates, but has seldom been applied to sea ice, where measuring photosynthesis is a challenge. We measured absorption coefficients of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), algae, and non-algal particles along with solar radiation, albedo and transmittance at four sea-ice stations in the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea. This unique compilation of optical and biological data for Baltic Sea ice was used to build a radiative transfer model describing the light field and the light absorption by algae in 1-cm increments. The maximum quantum yields and photoadaptation of photosynthesis were determined from 14C-incorporation in photosynthetic-irradiance experiments using melted ice. The quantum yields were applied to the radiative transfer model estimating the rate of photosynthesis based on incident solar irradiance measured at 1-min intervals. The calculated depth-integrated mean primary production was 5 mg C m–2 d–1 for the surface layer (0–20 cm ice depth) at Station 3 (fast ice) and 0.5 mg C m–2 d–1 for the bottom layer (20–57 cm ice depth). Additional calculations were performed for typical sea ice in the area in March using all ice types and a typical light spectrum, resulting in depth-integrated mean primary production rates of 34 and 5.6 mg C m–2 d–1 in surface ice and bottom ice, respectively. These calculated rates were compared to rates determined from 14C incorporation experiments with melted ice incubated in situ. The rate of the calculated photosynthesis and the rates measured in situ at Station 3 were lower than those calculated by the bio-optical algorithm for typical conditions in March in the Gulf of Finland by the bio-optical algorithm. Nevertheless, our study shows the applicability of bio-optics for estimating the photosynthesis of sea-ice algae.

Usage notes


Gulf of Finland
Baltic Sea