Oecologia

, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 121–129

Links between the structure of an Antarctic shallow-water community and ice-scour frequency

  • Kirsty M. Brown
  • Keiron P. P. Fraser
  • David K. A. Barnes
  • Lloyd S. Peck
Community Ecology

Abstract

Ice is a major structuring force in marine and freshwater environments at high latitudes. Although recovery from scouring has been quantified in time, the frequency of scouring in the Antarctic has not. We placed grids of markers at 9–17 m depth at two sites, to study ice-scouring over 2 years at Adelaide island (Antarctic Peninsula). We quantified the time scale of scour frequencies, and linked this to community mortality, age and diversity. Markers were hit from zero to at least three times in 2 years. At the least disturbed site (South Cove) 24% of markers were destroyed per year, whereas in North Cove 60% of markers were destroyed. There were significant differences in scouring frequency between our two sites: a given area in North Cove was on average hit twice as often as one in South Cove. Compared with near shore environments elsewhere, faunas of both sites were characteristic of high disturbance regimes, exhibiting low percent cover, diversity, ages and a high proportion of pioneers. Aspects of the encrusting communities studied reflected the differences between site disturbance regimes. North Cove was scoured twice as often, and bryozoan communities there had half the number of species, two-thirds the space occupation and twice the mortality level of those in South Cove. Maximum age in North Cove bryozoans was also half that in South Cove. Although there are natural disturbance events that rival ice-scouring in either frequency or catastrophic power at lower latitudes, none do both nor across such a wide depth range. We suggest that ice scour effects on polar benthos are even more significant than the same magnitude of disturbance at lower latitudes as recovery rates of high latitude communities are very slow. Climate warming seems likely to increase iceloading of near shore polar waters, so that some of the world’s most intensely disturbed faunas may soon suffer even more disturbance.

Keywords

Ice Age Bryozoan Disturbance Diversity 

References

  1. Araya R, Hervé F (1972) Patterned gravel beaches in the South Shetland Islands. Antarct Geol Geophys Ser B 1:111–114Google Scholar
  2. Barnes DKA (1995) Sublittoral epifaunal communities at Signy Island, Antarctica. II. Below the icefoot zone. Mar Biol 121:565–572Google Scholar
  3. Barnes DKA (1999) The influence of ice of polar near shore benthos. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 79:401–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnes DKA (2000) Diversity, recruitment and competition on island shores at polar locations compared with lower latitudes; encrusting community examples. Hydrobiologia 440:37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barnes DKA (2002a) Polarisation of competition increases with latitude. Proc R Soc London B 1504:2061–2069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barnes DKA (2002b) Polar punches and tropical truces. Planet Earth 2002:5Google Scholar
  7. Barnes DKA, Arnold RJ (2001) A growth cline in encrusting benthos along a latitudinal gradient within Antarctic waters. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 210:85–91Google Scholar
  8. Barnes DKA, Brockington S (2003) Zoobenthic biodiversity, biomass and abundance at Adelaide Island, Antarctica. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 249:145–155Google Scholar
  9. Barnes DKA, Clarke A (1998) The ecology of an assemblage dominant: the encrusting bryozoan Fenestrulina rugula. Invert Biol 117:331–340Google Scholar
  10. Barnes DKA, Kuklinski P (2003) High polar spatial competition: extreme hierarchies at extreme latitude. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 259:17–28Google Scholar
  11. Belderson RH, Kenyon NH, Wilson JB (1973) Iceberg plough marks in the North East Atlantic. Paleogeogr Paleoclimatol Paleoecol 13:215–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bolton JJ (1983) Effects of short term ice scouring on a Newfoundland rocky shore community. Astarte 12:39–43Google Scholar
  13. Bond G, Heinrich H, Broecker W, Labeyrie L, McManus J, Andrews J, Huon S, Jantschik R, Clasen S, Simet C, Tedesco K, Klas M, Bonani G, Ivy S (1992) Evidence for massive discharge of icebergs into the North Atlantic Ocean during the last glacial period. Nature 360:245–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Borkaw NVL (1985) Treefalls, regrowth and community structure in tropical forests. In: Pickett STA, White PS (eds) The ecology of natural disturbance and patch dynamics. Academic, Orlando, pp 53–69Google Scholar
  15. Brey T, Klages M, Dahm C, Gorny M, Gutt J, Hain S, Stiller M, Arntz WE, Wägele J-W, Zimmerman A (1994) Antarctic benthic diversity. Nature 368:297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Brey T, Pearse JS, Basch L, McLintock JB, Slattery M (1995a) Growth and production of Sterechinus neumayeri (Echinoidea, Echinodermata) in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Mar Biol 124:279–292Google Scholar
  17. Brey T, Peck LS, Gutt J, Hain S, Arntz W (1995b) Population dynamics of Magellania fragilis, a brachiopod dominating a mixed-bottom macrobenthic assemblage on the Antarctic shelf. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 75: 857–870Google Scholar
  18. Brockington S (2001) The seasonal ecology and physiology of Sterechinus neumayeri (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) at Adelaide Island, Antarctica. PhD Thesis, British Antarctic SurveyGoogle Scholar
  19. Chapelle G, Peck LS (1999) Polar gigantism dictated by oxygen availability. Nature 399:114–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cliff AD, Ord JK (1973) Spatial autocorrelation. Pion, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Collie JS, Hall SJ, Kaiser MJ, Poner IR (2000) A quantitative analysis of fishing impacts on shelf-sea benthos. J Anim Ecol 69:785–798CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Conlan KE, Lenihan HS, Kvitek RG, Oliver JS (1998) Ice scour disturbance to benthic communities in the Canadian high Arctic. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 166:1–16Google Scholar
  23. Connell JH (1978) Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science 199:1302–1310Google Scholar
  24. Dayton PK (1971) Competition, disturbance and community organisation: the provision and subsequent utilisation of space in a rocky intertidal community. Ecol Monogr 41:351–389Google Scholar
  25. Dayton PK (1989) Interdecadal variation in an Antarctic sponge and it’s predators from oceanographic climate shifts. Science 245:1484–1486Google Scholar
  26. Dayton PK (1990) Polar benthos. In: Smith WO (ed) Polar oceanography. Academic, London, pp 631–685Google Scholar
  27. Dayton PK, Hessler RR (1972) Role of biological disturbance in maintaining diversity in the deep sea. Deep Sea Res 19:199–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Dayton PK, Robilliard GA, Paine RT (1970) Benthic faunal zonation as a result of anchor ice at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. In: Holgate MW (ed) Antarctic ecology, vol 1. Academic, London, pp 244–257Google Scholar
  29. Dayton PK, Robilliard GA, Paine RT, Dayton LB (1974) Biological accommodation in the benthic community at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Ecol Monogr 44:105–128Google Scholar
  30. Dernie KM, Kaiser MJ, Warwick RM (2003) Recovery of benthic communities following physical disturbance. J Anim Ecol 72:1043–1056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Dionne J-C (1974) Polished and striated mud surfaces in the St. Lawrence tidal flats, Quebec. Can J Earth Sci 11:860–866Google Scholar
  32. Dionne J-C (1977) Relict iceberg furrows on the floor of Glacial Lake Ojibwa, Quebec and Ontario. Mar Sed 3:79–81Google Scholar
  33. Doake CSM, Vaughan DG (1991) Rapid disintegration of the Wordie ice shelf in response to atmospheric warming. Nature 350:328–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Dowdswell JA, Villinger H, Whittington RJ, Marienfeld P (1993) Iceberg scouring in Scoresby Sound and on the East Greenland continental shelf. Mar Geol 111:37–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ellis DV, Wilce RT (1961) Arctic and subarctic examples of intertidal zonation. Arctic 14:224–235Google Scholar
  36. Gallardo VA (1987) The sublittoral macrofaunal benthos of the Antarctic shelf. Environ Int 13:71–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gambi MC, Lorenti M, Russo GF, Scipione MB (1994) Benthic associations of the shallow hard bottoms off Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea: zonation, biomass and population structure. Antarct Sci 6:449–462Google Scholar
  38. Garwood NC, Janos DP, Brokaw N (1979) Earthquake caused landslides: a major disturbance to tropical forests. Science 205:997–999Google Scholar
  39. Grassle JF, Sanders HL (1973) Life histories and the role of disturbance. Deep Sea Res 20:643–659Google Scholar
  40. Gutt J (2001) On the direct impact of ice on marine benthic communities, a review. Polar Biol 24:553–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Gutt J, Starmans A (2001) Quantification of iceberg impact and benthic recolonisation patterns in the Weddell Sea (Antarctica). Polar Biol 24:615–619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Gutt J, Starmans A, Dieckmann G (1996) Impact of iceberg scouring on polar benthic habitats. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 137:311–316Google Scholar
  43. Huston M (1979) A general hypothesis of species diversity. Am Nat 113:81–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Jenkins SR, Beukers-Stewart BD, Brand AR (2001) Impact of scallop dredging on benthic megafauna: a comparison of damage levels in captured and non-captured organisms. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 215:297–301Google Scholar
  45. Jennings S, Kaiser MJ (1998) The effects of fishing on marine ecosystems. Adv Mar Biol 34:201–352Google Scholar
  46. Karlson RH (1983) Disturbance and monopolisation of a spatial resource by Zooanthus sociatus. Bull Mar Sci 33:118–131Google Scholar
  47. Kaufman TA (1974) Seasonality and disturbance in benthic communities, Arthur Harbour, Antarctic Peninsula. Antarct J US 9:307–310Google Scholar
  48. King JC, Harangozo SA (1998) Climate change in the western Antarctic Peninsula since 1945: observations and possible causes. Ann Glaciol 27:571–575Google Scholar
  49. Kvitek RG, Conlan KE, Iamietro PJ (1998) Black pools of death: hypoxic, brine-filled ice gouge depressions become lethal traps for benthic organisms in a shallow Arctic embayment. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 162:1–10Google Scholar
  50. Lee HJ, Vanhove S, Peck LS, Vincx M (2001a) Recolonisation of meiofauna after catastrophic iceberg scouring in shallow Antarctic sediments. Polar Biol 24:918–925CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Lee HJ, Gerdes D, Vanhove S, Vincx M (2001b) Meiofauna response iceberg disturbance on the Antarctic continental shelf at Kapp Novegia (Weddell sea). Polar Biol 24:926–933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lien R, Solheim A, Elverhoi A, Rokoengen K (1989) Iceberg scouring and sea bed morphology on the eastern Weddell Sea shelf, Antarctica. Polar Res 7:43–57Google Scholar
  53. McCook LJ, Chapman ARO (1997) Patterns and variations in natural succession following massive ice-scour of a rocky intertidal seashore. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 214:121–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Murphy JM, Mitchell JFB (1995) Transient response of the Hadley Centre coupled ocean-atmosphere model to increasing carbon dioxide. J Climate 8:36–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Nerini MK, Oliver JS (1983) Gray Whales and the structure of the Bering Sea benthos. Oecologia 59:224–225Google Scholar
  56. Nichols RL (1953) Marine and lacustrine ice-pushed ridges. J Glaciol 2:172–175Google Scholar
  57. Nonato EF, Brito TAS, De Paiva PC, Petti MAV, Corbisier TN (2000) Benthic megafauna of the nearshore zone of Martel Inlet (King George Island, south Shetland islands, Antarctica): depth zonation and underwater observations. Polar Biol 23:580–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Paine RT (1979) Disaster, catastrophe, and local persistence of the sea palm Postelsia palmaeformis. Science 205:685–687Google Scholar
  59. Peck LS, Brey T (1996) Bomb signals in old Antarctic brachiopods. Nature 380:207–208CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Peck LS, Bullough LW (1993) Growth and population structure in the infaunal bivalve Yoldia eightsi in relation to iceberg activity at Signy Island, Antarctica. Mar Biol 117:235–241Google Scholar
  61. Peck LS, Brockington S, Brey T (1997) Growth and metabolism in the Antarctic brachiopod Liothyrella uva. Phil Trans R Soc 352:851–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Peck LS, Brockington S, VanHove S, Beghyn M (1999) Community recovery following catastrophic iceberg impacts in Antarctica. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 186:1–8Google Scholar
  63. Peck LS, Colman JG, Murray AWA (2000) Growth and tissue mass cycles in the infaunal bivalve Yoldia eightsi at Signy Island, Antarctica. Polar Biol 23:420–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pugh PJA, Davenport J (1997) Colonisation vs disturbance: the effects of sustained ice-scouring on intertidal communities. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 210:1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Rearic DM, Barnes PW, Reimnitz E (1990) Bulldozing and resuspension of shallow-shelf sediment by ice keels: implications for Arctic sediment transport trajectories. Mar Geol 91:133–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Richardson MD, Hedgepeth JW (1977) Antarctic soft-bottom, macrobenthic community adaptations to a cold, stable, highly productive, glacially affected environment. In, Llano GA (ed) Adaptations within antarctic ecosystems. Gulf, Houston, pp 181–196Google Scholar
  67. Shabica SV (1972) Tidal zone ecology at Palmer Station. Antarct J US 7:184–185Google Scholar
  68. Stanwell-Smith D, Barnes DKA (1997) Benthic community development in Antarctica: recruitment and growth on settlement panels at Signy Island. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 212:61–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Surkov GA (1998) Evaluation of number of contacts of drifting ridges with pipelines. In: The 13th international symposium on Okhotsk sea and sea ice and the ice scour and Arctic marine pipelines workshop. Published by the Centre for Cold Ocean Resources Engineering, Memorial University, St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, pp 233–238Google Scholar
  70. Thrush SF, Dayton PK (2002) Disturbance to marine benthic habitats by trawling and dredging: implications for marine biodiversity. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 33:449–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Vogt PR, Crane K, Sundvor E (1994) Deep Pleistocene iceberg plowmarks on the Yermak Plateau: sidescan and 3.5 kHz evidence for thick calving ice fronts and a possible marine ice sheet in the Arctic Ocean. Geology 22:403–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wethey DS (1985) Catastrophe, extinction and species diversity: a rocky intertidal example. Ecology 66:445–456Google Scholar
  73. Woodworth-Lynas CMT, Josenhans HW, Barrie JV, Lewis CFM, Parrott DR (1991) The physical process of seabed disturbance during iceberg grounding and scouring. Cont Shelf Res 11:939–961CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Wulff JL (1995) Effects of a hurricane on survival and orientation of large erect coral reef sponges. Coral Reefs 14:55–61Google Scholar
  75. Zamorano JH (1983) Zonacion y biomasa de la macrofauna betonica en Bahia South, Archipelago de palmer, Antarctica. Inst Antarct Chil Ser Cient 30:27–38Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirsty M. Brown
    • 1
  • Keiron P. P. Fraser
    • 1
  • David K. A. Barnes
    • 1
  • Lloyd S. Peck
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological Sciences Division, British Antarctic SurveyNatural Environment Research CouncilCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations