Temperature adaptations

Temperature adaptations are primarily to prevent freezing, as ice crystal formation in cells will damage cell walls and internal membranes, and to keep membranes fluid (Thomas 2004).

Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is found in high concentrations in pack ice algae. It is thought to have not only a cryanoprotectant role but also to help negate the effects of changing salinity and light levels and be influenced by a range of ecological and physical factors; further study is needed to fully understand its functions (Kirst & Wiencke 1995, Thomas & Dieckmann 2002, Archer et al. 2009).

Diatoms have extracellular polysaccharide substances (EPS) that help glue them onto the ice and ice pitting substances that deform the growing ice crystals. The EPS biofilm is produced by bacteria and algae in all environments but is thought to have cryanoprotectant properties but further research is required on the functions of both of these substances (Thomas 2004).

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