Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 2, pp 607–616 | Cite as

Similar soft-bottom polychaete diversity in Arctic and Antarctic marine inlets

  • Maria Wlodarska-Kowalczuk
  • Jacek Sicinski
  • Slawomira Gromisz
  • Michael A. Kendall
  • Salve Dahle
Research Article


The diversity of soft-bottom polychaete assemblages in one Antarctic (Admiralty Bay) and two Arctic (Kongsfjord and van Mijenfjord) localities was compared. The data sets included 79 (Admiralty Bay), 80 (Kongsfjord) and 44 (van Mijenfjord) samples collected with use of 0.1 m2 van Veen grab. The number of species per sample in Kongsfjord (mean 19.9 ± 8.0 SD) was higher than that in Van Mijenfjord (13.7 ± 8.3) or Admiralty Bay (15.7 ± 9.4). The differences in species numbers reflected differences in numbers of individuals in samples: 310.4 ind/0.1 m± 178.0 in Kongsfjord, 132.7 ind/0.1 m2 ± 88.7 in Van Mijenfjord and 138.9 ind/0.1 m2 ± 91.5 in Admiralty Bay. The Hurlbert diversity for 50 individuals (ES [50]) was similar at all sites: 10.7 ± 3.4 in Kongsfjord, 9.7 ± 4.2 in van Mijenfjord, 10.5 ± 4.9 in Admiralty Bay. The shape of species accumulation curves was also similar for all localities. There was no significant difference (at P < 0.05) either in the total number of species or in species richness as estimated by Chao1 and Chao2 estimators. The generic and family richness at three sites was also similar. We found no substantial differences in the distribution of species among families. At both poles Terebellidae, Ampharetidae, Maldanidae, Spionidae and Polynoidae were dominant in terms of species numbers. The similarity of infaunal polychaete diversity at the polar sites studied contrasts with the substantial differences reported for epi-megafauna. Our study suggests that the patterns of diversity of polar benthic communities are shaped by patterns of habitat heterogeneity which appears to mask any historical processes.


Species Richness Polychaete Total Species Richness Species Accumulation Curve Latitudinal Pattern 
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We wish to thank the participants of the R.V Oceania cruises who took part in sampling in Kongsfjord and van Mijenfjord. The sampling and analyses of samples from van Mijenfjord were conducted thanks to economical support of coal company Store Norske which is gratefully acknowledged. We would like to thank Dr. P. E. Renaud and Prof. J. M. Weslawski for valuable discussions and comments on the paper. The study has been completed thanks to funds provided by a grant from the Committee of Scientific Research, Poland, no. PBZ-KBN-108/P04/2004. We acknowledge also the support by the MarBEF Network of Excellence “Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning” which is funded by the Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems Programme of the European Community’s Sixth Framework Programme (contract no. GOCE-CT-2003-505446). This publication is contribution number MPS-06041 of MarBEF and a contribution to the MarBEF responsive mode program ArctEco.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Wlodarska-Kowalczuk
    • 1
  • Jacek Sicinski
    • 2
  • Slawomira Gromisz
    • 3
  • Michael A. Kendall
    • 4
  • Salve Dahle
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Oceanology PASSopotPoland
  2. 2.Department of Polar Biology and OceanologyUniversity of LodzLodzPoland
  3. 3.Sea Fisheries InstituteGdyniaPoland
  4. 4.Plymouth Marine LaboratoryPlymouthUK
  5. 5.Akvaplan-niva ASPolar Environment CentreTromsøNorway

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