Original Paper

Polar Biology

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 261-275

First online:

Southeastern Chukchi Sea (Alaska) macrobenthos

  • Howard M. FederAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks Email author 
  • , Stephen C. JewettAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • , Arny L. BlanchardAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks

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Abstract

Macrobenthos in the southeastern Chukchi Sea, inclusive of the Chukchi Bight and Kotzebue Sound, were collected in 1985–1987 to determine factors influencing faunal distribution, abundance and biomass. Polychaetes, crustaceans, bivalve mollusks, and ophiuroid echinoderms dominated abundance. Polychaetes, bivalve mollusks, and ophiuroid echinoderms dominated carbon biomass with barnacles, amphipods, bryozoans, and tunicates occasionally dominant. Cluster analysis and ordination revealed relatively high faunal abundance and biomass under Bering Shelf Anadyr Water (BSAW) as well as under Alaska Coastal Water (ACW) in the Bight and Sound. Advected particulate carbon from the highly productive BSAW supported the abundant macrobenthos that served as food for numerous epifauna, which in turn furnished food for resident and transient populations of demersal fishes and marine mammals.