Polar Biology

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 595–603 | Cite as

In-situ observations on the distribution and behavior of amphipods and Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) under the sea ice of the High Arctic Canada Basin

  • Rolf R. GradingerEmail author
  • Bodil A. Bluhm
Original Paper


The occurrence and behavior of sympagic amphipods and Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) were studied in the High Arctic Canada Basin by diving under the ice at seven stations in summer 2002. Still images of video-transects were used to obtain animal abundances and information on the structure of the ice environment. Mean amphipod abundances for the stations varied between 1 and 23 individuals m−2, with an increase towards the western part of the basin. The standard deviation within the 31–51 images analyzed per station was small (<1 individual m−2). Gammarus wilkitzkii was found in low abundances, often hiding in small ice gaps. Small amphipods (Onisimus spp., Apherusa glacialis, and juveniles of all species) tended to move freely along the bottom of the floes. B. saida occurred in narrow wedges of seawater along the edges of melting ice floes at three stations in water depths of 10–50 cm and was never found under the ice. The fish occurred in schools of 1–28 per wedge. Fish were inactive and did not escape the approaching diver. Resting in the wedges may be a strategy to reduce energetic requirements and avoid predators.


Ringed Seal Canada Basin Amphipod Abundance Black Guillemot Small Amphipod 
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.



We greatly acknowledge the excellent support by our dive team Paul Nicklen (National Geographic Magazine), Wayne Smith and Jeremy Steward (DFO Winnipeg). Without their volunteering to collect animals and under-ice recordings, this entire study would not have been possible. We thank the crew of the Louis S. St. Laurent and our colleagues for support during the expedition. This work was funded by the NOAA Ocean Exploration program through grant NA16RP2626.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Fisheries and Ocean SciencesUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA

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