Seasonal and annual variations in the underwater light environment of an arctic kelp community.

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Seasonal and annual variations in the underwater light environment of an arctic kelp community.

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Title: Seasonal and annual variations in the underwater light environment of an arctic kelp community.
Author: Dunton, KH; Schonberg, SV; Martin, LR; Mueller, GS
Abstract: The arctic kelp, Laminaria solidungula, is a predominant member of the Boulder Patch kelp bed community in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea and serves as both food and shelter for a diverse assemblage of marine invertebrate fauna. The growth and productivity of L. solidungula is related to its underwater light environment, which varies considerably on both spatial and temporal scales. Continuous measurement of the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) reaching the plants was examined in August 1984 and continuously from August 1986 to August 1991.. Specially designed water-tight chambers containing U-COR data loggers were deployed by divers at seven locations on the seabed. Maximum daytime levels of PAR showed large seasonal differences, ranging from 0 to 15 micro mol photons m-2s-1 during the ice-covered period to between 0 and 250 micro mol photons m-2s-1 during the open-water season. Periods of decreased water transparency during the summer and large patches of turbid ice in winter were the major causes of low or undetectable levels of PAR. The lowest annual quantum budgets for L. solidungula ranged from 45 to 50 mol m^-2s^-1, which represented only about 0.2% of total surface PAR. Although, previous studies indicate that L. solidungula possesses a very low light requirement for net photosynthetic carbon production, our data indicate that this species is living at its physiological limits in the Beaufort Sea Boulder Patch.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/9039
Date: 1992

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