Polar Biology

, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 652–661 | Cite as

Substratum as a structuring influence on assemblages of Arctic bryozoans

  • Piotr KuklinskiEmail author
  • Bjørn Gulliksen
  • Ole Jorgen Lønne
  • Jan Marcin Weslawski
Original Paper


The nature of the substratum is a fundamental factor determining the types of organisms and communities found in many terrestrial and benthic habitats. The extent to which this is true in extreme environments was investigated using bryozoan assemblages as model organisms in an Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden 79°N, 12°E) in summer 2001 using SCUBA. Twenty-seven substrate samples of 0.25 m2 were taken at 10 m depth from the inner glacial basin to the mouth of the fjord. Multivariate analyses revealed four different bryozoan assemblages. The sea floor of the inner basin of Kongsfjorden near the glacial fronts was characterized by low diversity and dominance of the ctenostome species Alcyonidium disciforme Smitt. Highest richness and diversity occurred on rock substratum with mean size >10 cm2, on which the most common species was the pioneer Harmeria scutulata Busk (abundance: 15%). On smaller rocks with mean size <2 cm2, the runner-like pioneer species Electra arctica Borg comprised most individuals of the assemblage (98%). Yet another pioneer, Celleporella hyalina Linnaeus, was the most abundant species (49%) on substratum dominated by algae. Thus, in each habitat type, pioneers dominated but different species and to different extents. There was much variation in species composition and abundance within assemblages of heterogeneous habitats, and this study emphasizes the importance of microhabitats and physical conditions. Heterogeneity was evident at scales of <1 m.


Wiener Index Kelp Forest Small Rock Planktotrophic Larva Bryozoan Species 
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 thank especially Dr. Maria Wlodarska-Kowalczuk (IO PAS) and Dr. David Barnes (BAS) for comments leading to an improved manuscript. Thanks are also due to Dr. Adam Sokolowski (Gdansk University, Poland), Bartosz Witalis (Sea Fishery Institute, Poland) for help with samples collection and great company. We are very grateful to Agata Zaborska for granulometry analyses. Work in Ny-Alesund Large Scale Facility (LSF) was supported by a grant from the European Commission’s programme (no. NP-51/2001). The study has been completed thanks to the funds provided by grant 3 PO4F 081 24 from Polish State Committee for Scientific Research, HIGHLAT grant to first author from the European Commission’s programme and award from Otto Kinne Foundation.


  1. Barnes DKA, Arnold RJ (2001) Competition, sublethal mortality and diversity on Southern Ocean coastal rock communities. Polar Biol 24:447–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnes DKA, Clarke A (1995) Epibiotic communities on sublittoral macroinvertebrates at Signy Island, Antarctica. J Mar Biol Ass UK 75:689–703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barnes DKA, Kuklinski P (2003) High polar spatial competition: extreme hierarchies at extreme latitude. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 259:17–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnes DKA, Rothery PJ, Clarke A (1996) Colonisation and development in encrusting communities from the Antarctic intertidal and sublittoral. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 196:251–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bray JR, Curtis JT (1957) An ordination of the upland forest communities of southern Wisconsin. Ecol Monogr 27:325–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bruno JF, Bertness MD (2000) Habitat modification and facilitation in benthic marine communities. In: Bartness MD, Gaines SD, Hay ME (eds) Marine community ecology. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, pp 201–220Google Scholar
  7. Clarke KR, Warwick RM (1994) Change in marine communities:an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation. Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, pp 144Google Scholar
  8. Conlan KE, Lenihan HS, Kvitek RG, Oliver JS (1998) Ice scour disturbance to benthic communities in the Canadian high Arctic. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 166:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dayton PK (1990) Polar benthos. In: Smith WO (ed) Polar oceanography. Academic, London, pp 631–685Google Scholar
  10. Delany J, Myers AA, McGrath D, O’Riordan RM, Power AM (2003) Role of post-settlement mortality and ‘supply-side’ ecology in setting patterns of intertidal distribution in the chthamalid barnacles Chthamalus montagui and C-stellatus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 249:207–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Denisenko NV (1990) Species composition, occurrence of bryozoans fauna in the Barents Sea (In Russian). Apatity, MurmanskGoogle Scholar
  12. Dowdeswell JA, Forsberg CF (1992) The size and frequency of icebergs and bergy bits derived from tidewater glaciers in Kongsfjorden, Northwest Spitsbergen Polar Res 11:81–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eggleston D (1972) Factors influencing the distribution of sub-litoral ectoprocts off the south of the Isle of Man (Irish Sea). J Nat Hist 6:247–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Elverhoi A, Lonne O, Seland R (1983) Glaciomarine sedimentation in a modern fjord environment, Spitsbergen. Polar Res 1:127–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gee GW, Bauder JW (1979) Particle size analysis by hydrometer: a simplified method for routine textural analysis and a sensitivity test of measurement parameters. Soil Sci Soc Am J 43:1004–1007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gutt J (2000) Some “driving forces” structuring communities of the sublittoral Antarctic macrobenthos. Antarct Sci 12:297–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Harrison SSC, Hildrew AG (2001) Species coexistence and habitat heterogeneity in a lake littoral. J Anim Ecol 70:692–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Holte B, Dahle S, Gulliksen B, Naes K (1996) Some macrofaunal effects of local pollution and glacier—induced sedimentation, with indicative chemical analyses, in the sediments of two Arctic fjords. Polar Biol 16:549–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hop H, Pearson T, Hegseth EN, Kovacs KM, Wiencke C, Kwaśniewski S, Eiane K, Mehlum F, Gulliksen B, Wlodarska-Kowalczuk M, Lydersen C, Węsławski JM, Cochrane S, Gabrielsen GW, Leakey R, Lønne OJ, Zajaczkowski M, Falk-Petersen S, Kendall M, Wängberg SA, Bischof K, Voronkov AY, Kovaltchouk NA, Wiktor J, Poltermann M, Prisco A, Papucci C, Gerland S (2002) The marine ecosystem of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Polar Res 21:167–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jeffery CJ (2003) Determination of abundance and distribution of an intertidal barnacle: settlement or post settlement mortality? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 246:291–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jørgensen LL Gulliksen B (2001) Rocky bottom fauna in arctic Kongsfjord (Svalbard) studied by means of suction sampling and photography. Polar Biol 24:113–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kaddah MT (1974) The hydrometer method for detailed particle-size analysis. Soil Sci 118:102–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Karlson RH (1983) Disturbance and monopolisation of a spatial resource by Zooanthus sociatus. Bull Mar Sci 33:118–131Google Scholar
  24. Keough MJ (1983) Patterns of recruitment of sessile invertebrates in two subtidal habitats. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 66:213–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Key MM, Jeffries WB, Voris HK, Yang CM (1996) Epizoic bryozoans, horseshoe crabs, and other mobile benthic substrates. Bull Mar Sci 58:368–384Google Scholar
  26. Kuklinski P (2002) Bryozoa of the high arctic fjord—a preliminary study. In: Wyse Jackson P, Buttler C, Spencer-Jones M (eds) Bryozoan studies 2001. Balkema, Abingdon, pp 175–182Google Scholar
  27. Kuklinski P, Barnes DKA (2005) Microhabitat diversity of Svalbard Bryozoa. J Nat Hist 39:539–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kuklinski P, Porter J (2004) Alcyonidium disciforme Smitt, 1871: an exceptional Arctic bryozoan. J Mar Biol Ass UK 84:267–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kuklinski P, Gulliksen B, Lønne OJ, Weslawski JM (2005) Composition of bryozoan assemblages related to depth in Svalbard fjords and sounds. Polar Biol 28:619–630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kuznetzov VV (1941) Dynamics of Microporella ciliata biocenosis in the Barents Sea (In Russian). In: Brodsky KA (eds) Trudy of Zoological Institute of USSR Academy of Sciences, vol 7. Leningrad, pp 116–139Google Scholar
  31. Lippert H, Iken K, Rachor E, Wiencke C (2001) Macrofauna associated with macroalgae in the Kongsfjord (Spitsbergen). Polar Biol 24:512–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Manriquez PH, Cancino JM (1996) Bryozoan–macroalgal interactions: do epibionts benefit? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 138:189–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McKinney FK, Jackson JBC (1991) Bryozoan evolution. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  34. Osman RW (1977) The establishment and development of a marine epifaunal community. Ecol Monogr 47:37–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Raimondi PT (1988) Rock type affects settlement, recruitment, and zonation of the barnacles Chthamalus anisopoma Pilsbury. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 123:253–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ryland JS (1960) Experiments on the influence of the light on the behaviour of polyzoan larvae. J Exp Biol 37:783–800Google Scholar
  37. Ryland JS (1974) Behaviour, settlement and metamorphosis of bryozoan larvae: a review. Thalassia Jugoslavica 10:239–262Google Scholar
  38. Seed R, O’Connor RJ (1981) Community organization in marine algal epifaunas. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 12:49–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Strathman RR (1974) The spread of sibling larvae of sedentary marine invertebrates. Am Nat 108:29–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Svendsen H, Beszczynska-Møller A, Hagen JO, Lefauconnier B, Tverberg V, Gerland S, Ørbæk JB, Bischof K, Papucci C, Zajaczkowski M, Azzolini R, Bruland O, Wiencke C, Winther JG, Dallmann W (2002) The physical environment of Kongsfjorden–Krossfjorden, an Arctic fjord system in Svalbard. Polar Res 21:133–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ward MA, Thorpe JP (1989) Assessment of space utilisation in a subtidal temperate bryozoan community. Mar Biol 103:215–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Weslawski JM, Jankowski A, Kwasniewski S, Swerpel S, Ryg M (1991) Summer hydrology and zooplankton in two Svalbard fiords. Pol Polar Res 12:445–460Google Scholar
  43. Wildish D, Kristmanson D (1997) Benthic suspension feeders and flow. Univesristy Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  44. Witman JD (1985) Refuges, biological disturbance, and rocky subtidal community structure in New England. Ecol Monogr 55:421–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wlodarska-Kowalczuk M, Pearson T (2004) Soft-bottom macrobenthic faunal associations and factors affecting species distributions in an arctic glacial fjord (Kongsfjord, Spitsbergen). Polar Biol 27:155–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wlodarska-Kowalczuk M, Weslawski JM (2001) Impact of climate warming on Arctic benthic biodiversity:a case study of two Arctic glacial bays. Clim Res 18:127–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zaborska A (2001) Lithology of the fiordic bottom sediments, Kongsfjorden (Spitsbergen). MSc Thesis (in Polish), Gdynia: University of GdańskGoogle Scholar
  48. Zajaczkowski M (2000) Inflow and rate of sedimentation of chosen fiords of Western Spitsbergen (in Polish). Doctoral thesis. Gdańsk UniversityGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piotr Kuklinski
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Bjørn Gulliksen
    • 2
    • 4
  • Ole Jorgen Lønne
    • 5
  • Jan Marcin Weslawski
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of OceanologyPolish Academy of SciencesSopotPoland
  2. 2.The University Center on SvalbardLongyearbyenNorway
  3. 3.Natural History MuseumLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of Aquatic BiologyNorwegian College of Fishery ScienceTromsøNorway
  5. 5.Institute of Marine ResearchTromsøNorway

Personalised recommendations