Polar Biology

, Volume 28, Issue 8, pp 619–630 | Cite as

Composition of bryozoan assemblages related to depth in Svalbard fjords and sounds

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


Svalbard bryozoan communities were investigated along a depth range from the surface to 296 m between the inner glacial fronts and fjord mouths during 2001 and 2002. The main study area was Kongsfjorden (79°N, 12°E). A total of 137 taxa of bryozoans were identified: 108 to species, 24 to genus, 3 to family, 1 to order and 1 to phylum level. Cluster and multidimensional scaling analyses revealed four distinct assemblages of bryozoans: shallow (0–40 m; 68 taxa), deep (40–296 m; 80 taxa), inner fjordic (three taxa) and an assemblage found on small stones in shallow waters (nine taxa). The inner fjordic assemblage was recorded from the front of tidal glaciers extending about 10 km out into the fjord. In terms of abundance, Celleporella hyalina Linnaeus dominated in shallow areas (18%), Hippothoa arctica Kluge (55%) in deep water, Alcyonidium disciforme Smitt (86%) proximate to glaciers fronts and Electra arctica Borg on small stones (98%). The species were classified according to their depth range as a stenobathic-shallow (46 taxa), stenobathic-deep (57 taxa) and eurybathic-generalist (21 taxa). Mean diversity measures did not show any significant differences between the shallow and deep communities. The bryozoan assemblages seem to be structured primarily by processes related to depth and sediment characteristics.


Deep Sample Digestible Organic Matter Svalbard Archipelago Bryozoan Species Shallow Sample 
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.



Our special thanks are to Dr. Maria Włodarska-Kowalczuk, Dr. David Barnes and Dr. Paul Taylor for comments leading to an improved manuscript. Thanks are also due to Dr. Adam Sokołowski (Gdańsk University, Poland), Bartosz Witalis (Sea Fishery Institute, Poland) for help with samples collection and great company. 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 funds from Otto Kinne Foundation.


  1. Bak RPM, Engel MS (1979) Distribution, abundance and survival of juvenile hermatypic corals (Scleractinia) and the importance of life history strategies in the parent coral community. Mar Biol 54:341–352Google Scholar
  2. Barnes DKA, Clarke A (1998) The ecology of an assemblage dominant: the encrusting bryozoan Fenestrulina rugula. Invert Biol 117:331–340Google Scholar
  3. Barnes DKA, Rothery P, Clarke A (1996) Colonisation and development in encrusting community from the Antarctic intertidal and subtidal. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 196:251–265Google Scholar
  4. Beszczyńska-Moller A, Węsławski JM, Walczowski W, Zajączkowski M (1997) Estimation of glacial meltwater discharge into Svalbard coastal waters. Oceanologia 39:289–298Google Scholar
  5. Bishop JDD (1989) Colony form and the exploitation of spatial refuges by encrusting bryozoa. Biol Rev 64:197–218Google Scholar
  6. Bray JR, Curtis JT (1957) An ordination of the upland forest communities of southern Wisconsin. Ecol Monogr 27:325–349Google Scholar
  7. Carey AG (1991) Ecology of North American Arctic continental shelf benthos: a review. Cont Shelf Res 11:865–883Google Scholar
  8. Clarke KR, Gorley RN (2001) PRIMER v5: user manual/tutorial, Plymouth: PRIMER–E, p 91Google Scholar
  9. Clarke KR, Green RH (1988) Statistical design and analysis for a ‘biological effects’ study. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 46:213–226Google Scholar
  10. Clarke A, Lidgard S (2000) Spatial patterns of diversity in the sea: bryozoan species richness in the North Atlantic. J Anim Ecol 69:799–814Google Scholar
  11. Cook P (1981) The potential of minute bryozoan colonies in the analysis of deep–sea sediments. Cah Biol Mar 22:89–106Google Scholar
  12. Curtis MA (1977) Life cycles and population characteristics of marine benthic polychaets from Godhaven, West Greenland. Ophelia 16:9–58Google Scholar
  13. Driscoll EG (1967) Attached epifaunal–substrate relations. Limnol Oceanogr 12:633–641Google Scholar
  14. Elverhøi A, Lonne O, Seland R (1983) Glaciomarine sedimentation in a modern fjord environment, Spitsbergen. Polar Res 1:127–149Google Scholar
  15. Farrow GE, Sivitsky JPM, Tunnicliffe V (1983) Suspended particulate loading on the macrobenthos in a highly turbid fjord: Knight Inlet British Columbia. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 40:273–288Google Scholar
  16. Gammelsrod T, Rudels B (1983) Hydrographic and current measurements in the Fram Strait, August 1981. Polar Res 1:115–126Google Scholar
  17. Gautier YV (1962) Recherches ecologiques sur les Bryozoaires chilostomes en Mediterranee occidentale. Rec Trav Sta Mar Endoume 38:1–434Google Scholar
  18. Gontar VI, Hop H, Voronkov AY (2001) Diversity and distribution of Bryozoa in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Pol Polar Res 22:187–204Google Scholar
  19. Gordon DP (1987) The deep sea bryozoa of the New Zealand region. In: Ross JRP (ed) Bryozoa: Present and Past. Western Washington University, Bellingham, pp 97–104Google Scholar
  20. Görlich K, Węsławski JM, Zajączkowski M (1987) Suspension settling effect on macrobenthic biomass distribution in the Hornsund fjord, Spitsbergen. Polar Res 5:175–192Google Scholar
  21. Grebmeier JM, Feder HM, McRoy CP (1989) Pelagic-benthic coupling on the shelf of the northern Bering and Chukchi Sea. II. Benthic community structure. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 51:253–268Google Scholar
  22. Gulliksen B, Holte B, Jakola KJ (1985) The soft bottom fauna in Van Mijenfjord and Raudfjord, Svalbard. In: Gray J, Christiansen ME (eds) Marine biology of polar regions and effects of stress on marine organisms. Wiley and Sons, Oslo, pp 199–215Google Scholar
  23. Gulliksen B, Palerud R, Brattegaard T, Sneli J (1999) Distribution of marine benthic macroorganisms at Svalbard (including Bear Island) and Jan Mayen. Research report for DN 1999 4. Directorate for Nature Management, Trondheim, p 148Google Scholar
  24. Harmelin JG (1979) On some Stomatoporiform species (Bryozoa Cyclostomata) from the bathyal zone of the Northeastern Atlantic Ocean. In: Larwood GP, Abott MB (eds) Advances in bryozoology, systematics association special volume no 13. Academic, London, pp 403–422Google Scholar
  25. 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 21:167–208Google Scholar
  26. Hughes DJ (2001) Quantitative analyses of a deep-water bryozoan collection from the Hebridean continental slope. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 81:987–993Google Scholar
  27. Ito H, Kudoh S (1997) Characteristics of water in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. In: Proceedings of NIPR symposium, polar meteorology and glaciology 11:211–232Google Scholar
  28. Jackson JBC (1984) Ecology of cryptic coral reef communities. III. Abundance and aggregation of encrusting organisms with particular reference to cheilostome Bryozoa. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 75:37–57Google Scholar
  29. Kluge GA (1975) Bryozoa of the northern seas of the USSR. Amerind Publishing Pvt. Co, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  30. Kuklinski P (2002a) Fauna of Bryozoa from Kongsfjorden, West Spitsbergen. Pol Polar Res 23:193–206Google Scholar
  31. Kuklinski P (2002b) 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
  32. Kuklinski P, Barnes DKA (2005) Microhabitat diversity of Svalbard Bryozoa. J Nat Hist 39:539–554Google Scholar
  33. Lidgard S (1990) Growth in encrusting cheilostome bryozoans: II. Circum—atlantic distribution patterns. Paleobiology 16:304–321Google Scholar
  34. Lippert H, Iken K, Rachor E, Wiencke C (2001) Macrofauna associated with macroalgae in the Kongsfjord (Spitsbergen). Polar Biol 24:512–522Google Scholar
  35. Loeng H (1991) Features of the physical oceanographic conditions of the Barents Sea. In: Sakshaug E, Hopkins CCE, Oritsland NA (eds) Proceedings of the Pro Mare symposium on polar marine ecology, vol 10, Trondheim, Polar Res, pp 5–18, 12–16 May 1990Google Scholar
  36. Marfenin NN (1997) Adaptation capabilities of marine modular organisms. Hydrobiologia 355:153–158Google Scholar
  37. Rider J, Cowen R (1977) Adaptive architectural trends in encrusting ectoprocts. Lethaia 10:29–41Google Scholar
  38. Ryland JS (1963) Systematic and biological studies on Polyzoa (Bryozoa) from Western Norway. Sarsia 14:1–61Google Scholar
  39. Ryland JS (1970) Bryozoans. Hutchinson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  40. Ryland JS (1974) Behaviour, settlement and metamorphosis of bryozoan larvae: a review. Thalassia Jugoslavica 10:239–262Google Scholar
  41. 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 21:133–166Google Scholar
  42. Syvitski JPM, Farrow GE, Atkinson RJA, Moore PG, Andrew JT (1989) Baffin Island fjord macrobenthos: bottom communities and environmental significance. Arctic 42:232–247Google Scholar
  43. Węsławski JM, Zajączkowski M, Kwaśniewski S, Jezierski J, Moskal W (1988) Seasonality in an Arctic fjord ecosystem: Hornsund, Spitsbergen. Polar Res 6:185–189Google Scholar
  44. Węsławski JM, Jankowski A, Kwaśniewski S, Swerpel S, Ryg M (1991) Summer hydrology and zooplankton in two Svalbard fiords. Pol Polar Res 12:445–460Google Scholar
  45. Wildish D, Kristmanson D (1997) Benthic suspension feeders and flow. Univesristy Press, Cambridge, p 409Google Scholar
  46. Winston JE (1977) Distribution and ecology of estuarine ectoprocts: a critical review. Chesapeake Science 18:34–57Google Scholar
  47. Winston JE, Jackson JBC (1984) Ecology of cryptic coral reef communities. IV. Community development and life histories of encrusting cheilostome Bryozoa. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 76:1–21Google Scholar
  48. 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 27:155–167Google Scholar
  49. Young CM, Chia F-S (1984) An experimental test of shadow response function in ascidian tadpoles. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 85:165–175Google Scholar
  50. Zaborska A (2001) Lithology of the fiordic bottom sediments, Kongsfjorden (Spitsbergen). MSc Thesis. (in Polish). University of GdańskGoogle Scholar
  51. 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