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Dinoflagellate cysts occur in a wide range of environmental conditions, including polar areas. In Arctic and subarctic seas characterized by dense sea-ice cover (>6 months/year), Islandinium minutum, Islandinium? cezare, Echinidinium karaense, Polykrikos sp. var. arctic, Spiniferites elongatus-frigidus and Impaginium pallidum are common. They can occur with more cosmopolitan taxa such as Operculodinium centrocarpum sensu Wall & Dale, Pentapharsodinium dalei and Brigantedinium spp. Canonical correspondence analyses of assemblages illustrate relationships with sea-surface parameters such as salinity, temperature and sea-ice cover. The application of the modern analogue technique to dinocyst assemblages permits reconstruction of past seasonal extent of sea-ice cover (months/year with more than 50% of concentration) with an accuracy of about ±1.25 months/year.

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