A total of 27 coccolithophorid species were identified in water samples from the Southeast Greenland Margin taken during the late summer 1997. This is the first report of coccolithophorids present in this region, so close to the extreme environment of Greenland’s shoreline. Surprisingly, a consistent standing crop of temperate coccolithophorid species occurs, despite environmental conditions with sea surface water covered by ice for most of the year. Cell concentrations range between 1.7x102 and 2x105 cell/l.
The upper photic zone is dominated by Emiliania huxleyi and Syracosphaera spp. Coccolithus pelagicus is present in both of its life stages (holo- and heterococcolithophorid), with a different distribution in the water column. The maximum concentration of cells/l is recorded at depths of 10m. Cell concentrations decrease quickly with depth. In this study, surface sediments were also used to analyse the coccolithophorid spatial distribution and their fate after death. The coccolith distribution pattern in the surface sediments of the Southeast Greenland Margin reflects the conditions of the overlying surface water masses.