Seasonal variability of meio- and macrobenthic standing stocks and diversity in an Arctic fjord (Adventfjorden, Spitsbergen)
AuthorPawlowska, J.; Wlodarska-Kowalczuk, Maria; Zajaczkowski, Marek; Nygård, Henrik Andreas; Berge, Jørgen
Strong environmental seasonality is a basic feature of the Arctic system, still there are few published records of the seasonal variability of the Arctic marine biota. This study examined the year-round seasonal changes of soft bottom macro- and meiobenthic standing stocks and diversity on a station located in an Arctic fjord (Adventfjorden, Spitsbergen). The seasonality observed in benthic biota was related to the pelagic processes, primarily the seasonal fluxes of organic and inorganic particles. The highest abundance, biomass and richness of benthic fauna occurred in the spring after the phytoplankton bloom. During the summer, when a high load of glacial mineral material was transported to the fiord, the number of both meio- and macrobenthic individuals decreased remarkably. The strong inorganic sedimentation in summer was accompanied by a decline in macrobenthic species richness, but had no effects on evenness. Redundancy analysis (RDA) pointed to granulometric composition of sediments (depended on mineral sedimentation) and organic fluxes as factors best related to meio- and macrobenthic taxonomic composition, but no clear seasonal trend could be observed on the nMDS plots based on meiobenthic higher taxa or macrobenthic species abundances in the samples. This study addresses the possible effects of changes in the winter ice cover on the fjordic benthic systems because it was performed in a year with no ice cover on the fjord.
CitationPolar Biology 34(2011) nr. 6 s. 833-845
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