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Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 10, pp 2359–2376 | Cite as

Winter studies on zooplankton in Arctic seas: the Storfjord (Svalbard) and adjacent ice-covered Barents Sea

  • H. J. Hirche
  • K. N. Kosobokova
Original Paper

Abstract

Zooplankton was sampled in the Storfjord and ice-covered Barents Sea during March 2003. Environmental conditions represented a typical winter situation with low air temperatures, close pack ice, and extremely low chlorophyll concentrations. Polar water dominated the hydrographic regime in the upper layers. Zooplankton distribution reflected spatial variability of hydrography. The copepods Pseudocalanus spp., Oithona similis, Microsetella norvegica together with gastropod larvae were most numerous. Biomass averaged for the entire water column varied from 3.3 to 14.3 mg dry mass m−3, Calanus glacialis and Parasagitta elegans contributed most, followed by C. finmarchicus, Oithona similis, and Pseudocalanus spp. Various holoplankters showed reproductive activity, especially cyclopoid copepods and chaetognaths. A few C. glacialis females laid eggs in situ, but when fed diatom cultures rapidly increased their egg production. Meroplankton including larvae of nudibranchia, bivalvia, ophiuroida, polychaeta, and bryozoa were also present. Our data demonstrate that the pelagic community of the seasonally ice-covered Barents Sea was not in a “sleeping” state at the end of the winter, but in addition to dormant stages, a portion of mainly omnivorous and several carnivorous species was reproducing.

Keywords

Atlantic Water Copepodite Stage Calanus Hyperboreus Gastropod Larva Meroplanktonic Larva 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the captain and the crew of RV “Polarstern” for assistance in sampling. I. Fetzer, H. Auel, and B. Niehoff helped with the multinet sampling, P. May assisted in experiments. U. Schauer and A. Wisotzky provided CTD data, and U. Schauer helped with interpretation of the hydrography.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.Shirshov Institute of OceanologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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