Fauna associated with detached kelp in different types of subtidal habitats of the White Sea
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The fauna, associated with Laminaria and other largebrown macroalgae was studied by using SCUBA anddredging in two different types of underwater habitatsof the White Sea.In shallow water fjords and bays, with a depth of nomore than 30–40 m, detached kelp (mainly Laminaria saccharina, L. digitata and Alaria esculenta) formed large accumulations. One ofthese benthic accumulations, which has existed morethan 20 years, was studied. It covers about2000 m2, and is about 2 m thick. The upper layerof the accumulation of fronds is characterized by highturbulence and is well aerated. The lower layer ischaracterized by anoxic conditions. Mats of sulphurbacteria were not observed, although fronds in themiddle layer were covered by layers of cyanobacteria.About 50 species of macroinvertebrates were found,mainly species that are normally associated withliving kelp, such as the detritivorous species Ophiura robusta and Gammarus oceanicus, and fewspecies that are specific inhabitants of organic-richbiotopes in the White Sea such as Capitellacapitata, Ophryotrocha irinae and Nebaliabipes. It was remarkable that in the shallow waterbasins of the White Sea, the process of decompositionof brown algae in the sublittoral takes place withoutsea urchins, and no other macrofaunal form plays anecological role in the mechanical breakdown of theplant substratum, even not in the large accumulationsof detached kelp.Along the open rocky shoreline, communities associatedwith dead detached kelp were situated at a depth of60–90 m, 40–50 m below the belt of living kelp. Inthis deep zone, no macroinvertebrates typical of thekelp community in the photic zone were found. Duringthe passage from the shoreline to the deeper benthiccommunity, where sea urchins were dominant, all plantdebris became fragmented. These deeper benthiccommunities appeared to be the zone for decompositionof the detached kelp.
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- Fauna associated with detached kelp in different types of subtidal habitats of the White Sea
Volume 355, Issue 1-3 , pp 91-100
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- kelp decomposition
- White Sea
- benthic communities
- sea urchins
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Moscow State University, 119899, Vorobievy Gory, Moscow, Russia
- 2. Shirshow Institute of Oceanology, Moscow
- 3. White Sea Biological Station, Moscow State University, Russia