Depth gradients of benthic standing stock and diversity on the continental margin at a high-latitude ice-free site (off Spitsbergen 79 degrees N)

Wlodarska-Kowalczuk, M; Kendall, MA; Weslawski, JM; Klages, M; Soltwedel, T. 2004 Depth gradients of benthic standing stock and diversity on the continental margin at a high-latitude ice-free site (off Spitsbergen 79 degrees N). Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 51. 1903 - 1914. 10.1016/j.dsr.2004.07.013

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2004.07.013

Abstract/Summary

High-latitude seas are mostly covered by multi-year ice, which impacts processes of primary production and sedimentation of organic matter. Because of the warming effect of West Spitsbergen Current (WSC), the waters off West Spitsbergen have only winter ice cover. That is uncommon for such a high latitude and enables to separate effects of multiyear-ice cover from the latitudinal patterns. Macrofauna was sampled off Kongsfjord (79°N) along the depth gradient from 300 to 3000 m. The density, biomass and diversity at shallow sites situated in a canyon were very variable. Biomass was negatively correlated with depth (R=-0.86R=-0.86, p<0.001), and ranged from 61 g ww m−2 (212 m) to 1 g ww m−2 (2025 m). The biomasses were much higher than in the multiyear-ice covered High Arctic at similar depths, while resembling those from temperate and tropical localities. Species richness (expressed by number of species per sample and species–area accumulation curves) decreased with depth. There was no clear depth-related pattern in diversity measures: Hurbert rarefaction, Shannon–Wiener or Pielou. The classic increase of species richness and diversity with depth was not observed. Species richness and diversity of deep-sea macrofauna were much lower in our study than in comparable studies of temperate North Atlantic localities. That is related to geographic isolation of Greenland–Icelandic–Norwegian (GIN) seas from the Atlantic pool of species.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Other (PML)
Depositing User: EPServices Admin
Date made live: 11 Feb 2014 15:56
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:06
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/4233

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