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Infographic 6 — The Canadian Arctic: The changing ice season is affecting algae blooms

Infographic 6: The changing ice season is affecting algae blooms
Long description

An infographic shows a simplified Arctic Ocean ecosystem scene. At left a human figure stands on the ice edge with text underneath them. Below the ice is a green patch of ice algae, below that is a simplified food web with an arrow pointing upwards towards the human figure. The food web consists of an icon of a beluga, an Arctic cod, a shrimp, plankton and phytoplankton. At the centre of the infographic are five shaded bubbles with text in them describing how algae bloom forms and how they are changing. Arrows are pointing from the top two text bubbles to a bubble in the middle to the bottom two bubbles. On the right side of the image there is another ice edge with green ice algae under the ice. A small map is shown which indicates where the Mackenzie Shelf is located with a circle and dashed lines pointing to the ice edge bloom and a piece of information related to nutrient levels. Beside the map there is an arrow pointing upwards towards the ice edge with the text “NO3” indicating movement of nutrient rich water to the surface.

  • Timing of ice melt affects the timing, location and species of algae blooms
  • How do changing blooms affect the rest of the food web?
  • Ice algae and phytoplankton
  • Microscopic plants that need light and nutrients to grow
  • Nitrate (NO3)
  • An important nutrient in the ocean
  • Algae bloom
  • Occurs when and where light and nutrient conditions are best
  • Blooms are key events that support the food web
  • Blooms are happening earlier and nutrients are used up sooner
  • Ice-edge blooms may be increasing
  • On the Mackenzie Shelf nutrient-rich waters have moved closer to the surface and phytoplankton has increased
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