Are icebergs neutral actors in the environment, or do they have any impact on the local ecology. Do they have any environmental impacts that might influence any part of the biosphere?
Yes, they have many impacts:
- They provide a substrate for algae to grow and they can have whole ecosystems under them. You might think that such substrate is transient because it is melting, but Arctic and Antarctic waters are often below zero degrees Celsius, therefore, freshwater ice doesn't melt. You can find many articles about such ecosystems (here is one).
- They transport sediments and nutrients into the ocean.
- They provide safe rest areas for animals like seals, birds and penguins.
- They impact the temperature of surface waters, specially in fjords.
- They stir the sea floor in shallow waters
And there must be more ways they impact the environment and ecosystems but those are the ones I can think about right now.