The structure of sea-ice bacterial communities is frequently different from that in seawater. Bacterial entrainment in sea ice has been studied with traditional microbiological, bacterial abundance, and bacterial production methods. However, the dynamics of the changes in bacterial communities during the transition from open water to frozen sea ice is largely unknown. Given previous evidence that the nutritional status of the parent water may affect bacterial communities during ice formation, bacterial succession was studied in under ice water and sea ice in two series of mesocosms: the first containing seawater from the North Sea and the second containing seawater enriched with algal-derived dissolved organic matter (DOM). The composition and dynamics of bacterial communities were investigated with terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), and cloning alongside bacterial production (thymidine and leucine uptake) and abundance measurements (measured by flow cytometry). Enriched and active sea-ice bacterial communities developed in ice formed in both unenriched and DOM-enriched seawater (0-6 days). γ-Proteobacteria dominated in the DOM-enriched samples, indicative of their capability for opportunistic growth in sea ice. The bacterial communities in the unenriched waters and ice consisted of the classes Flavobacteria, α- and γ-Proteobacteria, which are frequently found in natural sea ice in polar regions. Furthermore, the results indicate that seawater bacterial communities are able to adapt rapidly to sudden environmental changes when facing considerable physicochemical stress such as the changes in temperature, salinity, nutrient status, and organic matter supply during ice formation.