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Wright, S. and Davidson, A.T. (2013) The role of antarctic marine protists in trophodynamics and global change and the impact of UV-B on these organisms, Ver. 1, Australian Antarctic Data Centre -, Accessed: 2021-05-13
The role of antarctic marine protists in trophodynamics and global change and the impact of UV-B on these organisms - ASAC_40
Data Centre
Australian Antarctic Data Centre, Australia
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This is a parent metadata record for work carried out as part of ASAC/AAS project 40.

See the child metadata records for further information.

More than 95% of the biomass in the Southern Ocean is microscopic - single celled plants, animals, bacteria and viruses. We are studying the factors that control their distribution and abundance - oceanographic and seasonal conditions, their physiology, and grazing - in order to model their vital roles as food for other organisms and their influence in moderating global climate change through absorption of CO2 and production of DMS. We are also addressing the changes expected in microbial communities through effects of climate change - global warming, sea ice retreat, ocean acidification and enhanced ultraviolet radiation.

This project aims to determine the role of microorganisms in the Southern Ocean. The major objectives are to:

* Identify and quantify key protistan components of the Southern Ocean ecosystem and study their autoecology.

* Identify environmental and ecological processes that control abundance of key microbial components.

* Determine interactions between key microbial components to quantify major pathways of carbon flow.

* Determine the activity and viability of bacterioplankton and protists in the Southern Ocean.

* Distinguish different microbial communities by identifying key taxa and associations so that processes such as primary production, respiration, grazing and particle flux can be readily parameterised in ecological models.

* Determine the effect of elevated CO2 concentrations on microbial populations and processes.

Taken from the 2008-2009 Progress Report:
Progress against objectives:
1. Ongoing sampling from Astrolabe has continued, with 3 return voyages being sampled for phytoplankton species, chlorophyll a and other pigments, coccolithophorid counts and DNA profiles, in conjunction with measurements of CO2, ocean structure, fluorescence and ocean colour by CSIRO / CRC colleagues.

2. Three sets of minicosm experiments were conducted at Davis station with 7 staff spending 4.5 - 5.5 months on site. These experiments consistently found that acidification caused blooms of nanoplanktonic diatoms and increased bacterial activity, apparently by inhibition of microheterotroph grazers, at the expense of larger cells that are more readily ingested by grazers such as krill. We showed for the first time in Antarctic waters that pCO2 affects the structure and function Antarctic microbial communities in a way that may reduce food availability to large grazers. Over 100 cultures of "winners and losers" from such experiments were isolated and returned to Australia. These will form the basis for further physiological experiments including molecular assays.

3. Submission and acceptance of 8 papers from the BROKE-West cruise (5 as senior author). These showed the interactions between bottom-up (micronutient) top-down (grazing) control in structuring microbial populations in the marginal ice zone. Five biogeographic zones were identified on the basis of species composition, and the productivity was measured for each zone. Microzooplankton grazing experiments found that grazing within that microbial loop consumed a significant proportion of new productivity. In some areas later in the season, all productivity was consumed by microheterotrophs, rather than metazoans such as krill. A time sequence was identified for seeding and development of components of ice edge blooms, subsequent grazing and decline and a mechanism postulated for export of micronutrients (e.g. iron) by grazing and sedimentation that prevents subsequent development of surface water blooms and constrains populations to a deep chlorophyll maximum below the level of a nutricline.

4. Detailed analysis of greater than 30 strains of keystone species Emiliania huxleyi of two morphotypes in conjunction with Clara Hoppe (Masters student, Alfred Wegener Institute) and Suellen Cook (PhD student, University of Tasmania) showed consistent differences between strains in terms of pigmentation, responses to light and genetics. The two morphotypes appear to be adapted to different mixing regimes north and south of the Polar Front; the southern form may represent a new species.

For a full list of references associated with this project, see the project link at the provided URL.

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See the child records for further information.


See the child records for further information.

A Data Status Update 2013 and a multi-year summary 1980-1995 is available for download from the provided URL.

Temporal Coverages

Spatial Coverages

Science Keywords

Additional Keywords

  • CTD
  • DATE
  • UV
  • UV-B








  • connell, dave (DIF AUTHOR)

Use Constraints

This data set conforms to the CCBY Attribution License

Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at when using these data.


    ISO Topic

    • BIOTA
    • OCEANS

    Dataset Language

    • English

    Orignating Centre

    • Australian Antarctic Division

    Dataset Progress


    IDN Node

    • AMD/AU
    • CEOS
    • AMD


    • Marchant H.J., Thomas D.P. (1983) Polylysine as an adhesive for the attachment of nanoplankton to substrates for electron microscopy., Journal of Microscopy, 131(1), 127-129
    • Marchant H.J. (1982) Antarctic marine nanoplankton., Australian Microbiologist, 3(93)
    • Nicol S., Bindoff N., King R., Pauly T., Thiele D., Woehler E., Wright S.W. (1996) Preliminary results of a biological/oceanographic survey off the coast of East Antarctic (80-150E) carried out in Jan-Mar, 1996., Proceedings NIPR Symposium
    • Higgins H.W., Mackey M.D., Mackey D.J., Wright S.W. (1997) Chemtex - a program for estimating class abundance from chemical markers. Application to HPLC measurements of phytoplankton pigments., Proceedings of the Australian Society for Phycology and Aquatic Biology
    • Wright S.W., Parker N., McMinn A. (1997) Southern Ocean phytoplankton community structure - HPLC and microscopy: a comparison., Proceedings of the Australian Society for Phycology and Aquatic Biology
    • Wright S.W., Shearer J.D. (1984) Rapid extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography of chlorophylls and carotenoids from marine phytoplankton., Journal of Chromatography, 294, 281-295
    • Marchant H.J., Perrin R.A. (1986) Planktonic choanoflagellates from two Antarctic lakes including the description of Spiraloecion didymocostatum gen. et sp. nov., Polar Biology, 5, 207-210
    • Marchant H.J., Nash G.V. (1986) Electron microscopy of gut contents and faeces of Euphausia superba Dana., Memoirs of National Institute of Polar Research Special Issue, 40, 167-177
    • Marchant H.J., McEldowney A. (1986) Nanoplanktonic siliceous cysts from Antarctica are algae., Marine Biology, 92(1), 53-57
    • Marchant H., Seppelt R., Doig F. (1986) Iced with life., Australian Natural History, 22(3), 102-109
    • Wright S.W., Jeffrey S.W. (1987) Fucoxanthin pigment markers of marine phytoplankton analysed by HPLC and HPTLC., Marine Ecology Progress Series, 38, 259-266
    • Davidson A.T., Marchant H.J. (1987) Binding of manganese by Antarctic Phaeocystis pouchetii and the role of bacteria in its release., Marine Biology, 95, 481-487
    • Perrin R.A., Lu P., Marchant H.J. (1987) Seasonal variation in marine phytoplankton and ice algae at a shallow Antarctic coastal site., Hydrobiologia, 146, 33-46
    • Booth B.C., Marchant H.J. (1987) Parmales, a new order of marine chrysophytes, with descriptions of three new genera and seven new species., Journal of Phycology, 23, 245-260
    • Croome R.L., van den Hoff J., Burton H.R. (1987) Observations of the Heliozoean genera Pinaciophora and Acanthocystis (Heliozoea, Sarcodina, Protozoa) from Ellis Fjord, Antarctica., Polar Biology, 8, 23-28
    • Marchant H.J., Davidson A.T., Wright S.W. (1987) The distribution and abundance of chroococcoid cyanobacteria in the Southern Ocean., Proceedings of the NIPR Symposium on Polar Biology, 1, 1-9
    • Jeffrey S.W., Wright S.W. (1987) A new spectrally distinct component in preparations of chlorophyll c from the micro-alga Emiliania huxleyi (Prymnesiophyceae)., Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 894, 180-188
    • Marchant H.J. (1993) Antarctic marine nanoplankton., Menon J. Current Topics in Botanical Research, 1, 189-201
    • Perriss S.J., Laybourn-Parry J., Marchant H.J. (1995) The widespread occurrence of populations of the unique autotrophic ciliate Mesodinium rubrum (Ciliophora: Haptorida) in brackish and saline lakes of the Vestfold Hills (eastern Antarctica)., Polar Biology, 15, 423-428
    • Booth B.C., Marchant H.J. (1988) Triparmaceae, a substitute name for a family in the order Parmales (Chrysophyceae)., Journal of Phycology, 24, 124
    • Marchant H.J. (1990) Grazing rate and particle size selection by the choanoflagellate Diaphanoeca grandis from the sea-ice of Lake Saroma KO, Hokkaido., Proceedings of the NIPR Symposium on Polar Biology. Polar Biology, 3, 1-7
    • Marchant H.J., van den Hoff J., Burton H.R. (1987) Loricate choanoflagellates from Ellis Fjord, Antarctica including the description of Acanthocorbis tintinnabulum sp. nov., Proceedings of the NIPR Symposium on Polar Biology, 1, 10-22
    • Walker T.D., Marchant H.J. (1989) The seasonal occurrence of chroococcoid cyanobacteria at an Antarctic coastal site., Polar Biology, 9, 193-196
    • Marchant H.J., Buck K.R., Garrison D.L., Thomsen H.A. (1989) Mantoniella in Antarctic waters including the description of M. antarctica sp. nov. (Prasinophyceae)., Journal of Phycology, 25, 167-174
    • Marchant H.J., Scott F.J. (1993) Uptake of sub-micrometre particles and dissolved organic material by Antarctic choanoflagellates., Marine Ecology Progress Series, 92, 59-64
    • Perriss S.J., Laybourn-Parry J., Marchant H.J. (1993) Mesodinium rubrum ( Myronecta rubra ) in an Antarctic brackish lake., Archiv fuer Hydrobiologie, 128(1), 57-64
    • Davidson A.T., Marchant H.J. (1994) Comparative impact of in situ UV exposure on productivity, growth and survival of Antarctic Phaeocystis and diatoms., Proceedings of the NIPR Symposium on Polar Biology, 7, 53-69
    • Davidson A.T., Bramich D., Marchant H.J., McMinn A. (1994) Effects of UV-B irradiation on growth and survival of Antarctic marine diatoms., Marine Biology, 119, 507-515
    • Marchant H.J. (1994) Biological impacts of seasonal ozone depletion. Hempel G., Antarctic Science - Global Concerns., 95-109
    • Franklin D.C., Marchant H.J. (1995) Parmales in sediments of Prydz Bay, East Antarctica: a new biofacies and paleoenvironmental indicator of cold water deposition?, Micropaleontology, 41(1), 89-94
    • Marchant H.J. (1998) Life in the snow: algae, fungi and bacteria. Green K., Snow, a natural history: an uncertain future, 83-97
    • Mayes D., Rogerson A., Marchant H.J., Laybourn-Parry J. (1997) Growth and consumption rates of bactivorous Antarctic naked marine amoebae., Marine Ecology Progress Series
    • Mayes D., Rogerson A., Marchant H.J., Laybourn-Parry J. (1998) Temporal abundance of naked bactivore amoebae in coastal East Antarctica., Estuarine, Coastal Shelf Science, 46, 565-572
    • Hodgson D.A., Wright S.W., Davies N., Tyler P.A. (1998) Mass spectrometry and reverse-phase HPLC techniques for the identification of degraded fossil pigments in lake sediments and their application in paleolimnology., Journal of Paleolimnology
    • Jeffrey S.W., Mantoura R.F.C., Wright S.W. (1997) Phytoplankton pigments in oceanography: Guidelines to modern methods., 661
    • Wright S.W., Jeffrey S.W., Mantoura R.F.C., Llewellyn C.A., Bjornland T., Repeta D., Welschmeyer N. (1991) Improved HPLC method for the analysis of chlorophylls and carotenoids from marine phytoplankton., Marine Ecology Progress Series, 77, 183-196
    • Davidson A.T., Marchant H.J. (1992) Protist abundance and carbon concentration during a Phaeocystis -dominated bloom at an Antarctic coastal site., Polar Biology, 12, 387-395
    • Chiba S., Ishimaru T., Hosie G.W., Wright S.W. (1999) Population structure change of Salpa thompsoni from austral mid-summer to autumn., Polar Biology, 22, 341-349
    • Daugbjerg N., Marchant H.J., Thomsen H.A. (2000) Life history stages of Pyramimonas tychotreta (Prasinophyceae, Chlorophyta), a marine flagellate from the Ross Sea, Antarctica., Phycological Research, 48, 199-209
    • Trevena A., Jones G.B., Wright S.W., van den Enden R.L. (2003) Profiles of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP), algal pigments, nutrients, and salinity in the fast ice of Prydz Bay, Antarctica., Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, 14-11
    • Zapata M., Jeffrey S.W., Wright S.W., Rodriguez F., Garrido J.L., Clementson L. (2004) Photosynthetic pigments in 37 species (65 strains) of Haptophyta: implications for oceanography and chemotaxonomy., Marine Ecology Progress Series., 270, 83-102
    • Thomson P.G, Nichols P., Wright S., Skerratt J., McMInn A. (2004) Molecular taxonomy, pigment and lipid composition and Antarctic distribution of the brine dinoflagellate, (Polarella glacialis., Journal of Phycology, 40, 867-873
    • Thomson P.G., Wright S.W., Bolch C.J.S., Nichols D., Skerratt J.H., McMinn A. (2004) Antarctic distribution,pigment and lipid composition, and molecular identification of the brine dinoflagellate Polarella glacialis (Dinophyceae), Journal of Phycology, 40, 867-873
    • Beaumont K.L., Nash G.V., Davidson A.T. (2002) Ultrastructure, morphology and flux of microzooplankton faecal pellets in an east Antarctic fjord., Marine Ecology Progress Series, 245, 133-148
    • Gabric A.J., Cropp R., Hirst T., Marchant H.J. (2003) The sensitivity of dimethyl sulfide production to simulated climate change in the Eastern Antarctic Southern Ocean., Tellus, 55B, 966-981
    • Savoye N., Dehairs F., Elskens M., Cardinal D., Kopczynska E.E., Trull T.W., Wright S., Aaeyens W., Griffiths F.B. (2004) Regional variation of spring N-uptake and new production in the Southern Ocean., Geophysical Research Letters, 31(L03301), doi:10.1029/2003GL018946
    • Marchant H.J., Davidson A.T., Wright S.W. (2001) Antarctic Marine Microorganisms and Climate Change: Impacts and Feedbacks, Ocean and Polar Research, 23(4), 401-410
    • Ishikawa A., Wright S.W., van den Enden R., Davidson A.T., Marchant H.J. (2002) Abundance, size structure and community composition of phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean in the austral summer 1999/2000., Polar Bioscience, 15, 11-26
    • Hosie G. (2004) Tackling fundamental issues in Southern Ocean plankton ecology - Japan and Australia's collaborative achievements., Plankton Biology and Ecology, 51(2), 57-70
    • de Salas M.F., Bolch C.J.S., Botes L., Nash G., Wright S.W., Hallegraeff G.M. (2003) Takayama Gen. Nov. (Gymnodiniales, Dinophyceae), A new genus of unarmored dinoflagellates with sigmoid apical grooves, including the description of two new species., Journal of Phycology, 39, 1233-1246
    • Trevena A.J., Jones G.B., Wright S.W., van den Enden R.L. (2000) DMSP distribution profiles and production in pack ice from eastern Antarctica, Netherlands Journal of Sea Research, 43, 265-273
    • Hodgson D.A., Wright S.W., Tyler P.A., Davies N. (1998) A paleolimnological study of algal and bacterial communities in meromictic Lake Fidler, south west Tasmania, using reverse-phase HPLC and Mass Spectrometry and its application to lake management., Journal Paleolimnology, 19, 1-22
    • Jeffrey S.W., Wright S.W., Zapata M. (1999) Recent advances in HPLC pigment analysis of phytoplankton., Marine and Freshwater Research, 50, 879-896
    • Marchant H.J. (1983) Marine phytoplankton: food for krill, Australian Fisheries, 47(7), 24-25
    • Popp B.N., Trull T., Kenig F., Wakeham S.G., Rust T.M., Tilbrook B., Griffiths F.B., Wright S.W., Marchant H.J., Bidigare R.R., Laws E.A. (1999) Controls on the carbon isotopic composition of Southern Ocean phytoplankton., Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 13(4), 827-843
    • Thomson P.G., McMinn A., Kiessling I., Watson M., Goldsworthy P.M. (2005) Composition and succession of dinoflagellates and chrysophytes in the upper fast ice of Davis Station, East Antarctica., Polar Biology, 29, 337-345
    • Scott F.J., Marchant H.J. (2005) Antarctic Marine Protists, 563, Autstralian Biological Resources Study, Canberra and Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart
    • Jeffrey S.W., Wright S.W. (2006) Photosynthetic pigments in marine microalgae: Insights from cultures and the sea., Subba Rao D.V. Algal Cultures, Analogues of Blooms and Applications, 34-90
    • Davidson A.T (2006) Effects of ultraviolet radiation on microalgal growth, survival and production., Rao S.D.V. Algal Cultures, Analogues of Blooms and Applications, 2, 715-767
    • Buma A.G.J., Wright S.W., van den Enden R., van de Poll W.H., Davidson A.T. (2006) PAR acclimation and UVBR-induced DNA damage in Antarctic marine microalgae., Marine Ecology Progress Series, 315, 33-42
    • Marchant H.J., Bowman J., Gibson J., Laybourn-Parry J., McMinn A. (2002) Aquatic microbiology: the ANARE perspective., Marchant H.J., Lugg D.J., Quilty P.G. Australian Antarctic Science The first 50 years of ANARE, 237-269
    • Nunez M., Davidson A.T., Michael K. (2006) Modelled effects of ambient UV radiation on a natural Antarctic marine microbial community., Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 42, 75-90
    • Wright S.W., Jeffrey S.W. (2005) Pigment markers for phytoplankton production., Volkman J. Marine Organic Matter: Biomarkers, Isotopes and DNA, 71-104
    • Pearce I., Davidson A.T., Bell E.M., Wright S. (2007) Seasonal changes in the concentration and metabolic activity of bacteria and viruses at an Antarctic coastal site, Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 47, 11-23

    Metadata Revision History

      2008-07-03 - record created by Dave Connell as a parent for all of Simon's ASAC_40 records. 2009-04-28 - record updated by Dave Connell from information provided in the progress report. 2012-11-05 - record updated by Dave Connell to correct dodgy characters 2013-11-29 - record updated by Dave Connell to add a data status update from Simon Wright.

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