• algal distributions;
  • Antarctic algae;
  • ice-edge plankton;
  • sea ice algal communities


A significant amount of the primary production in the Southern Ocean and other ice-covered oceans takes place in localized ice edge plankton blooms. The dynamics of these blooms appear to be closely related to seasonal melting of sea ice. Algal cells released from the ice are a possible source of ice edge planktonic assemblages, but evidence for this “seeding” has been equivocal. We compared algal assemblages in ice and water in the Weddell Sea during the austral spring of 1983 at a receding ice edge with a well-developed ice edge bloom. The high degree of similarity between ice and water column assemblages, the spatial and temporal patterns in the distribution and abundances of species, and preliminary evidence for the viability and growth of ice-associated species provide evidence for seeding from sea ice of some species in Antarctica.