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Spatial and temporal distribution of tintinnid (Ciliophora: Tintinnida) communities in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard (Arctic), during summer


Information of tintinnid community, as an important component of plankton, was limited in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard (Arctic), which is an important Arctic monitoring site for global change. In this paper, we studied the species composition, spatial, and vertical distribution of tintinnids in Kongsfjorden in July 2012. Water samples for tintinnid study were taken in different depths at eight grid stations in the fjord and time series (5–23 July) at one station at the pier (St. C). Eight species (morphotypes) were found: Acanthostomella norvegica, Leprotintinnus pellucidus, Parafavella edentata, Parafavella gigantea, Ptychocylis obtusa, Stenosemella spp., Tintinnopsis parvula, and Tintinnopsis spp. Total tintinnid abundance and biomass ranged from undetectable (<1 ind L−1) to 2,435 ind L−1 and 0–6.33 μg C L−1, respectively. Cluster analysis of the tintinnid community in the grid stations and St. C showed that tintinnid community was uniform throughout the fjord. Four species (morphotypes) showed distinct vertical distributions: T. parvula occurred throughout the water column but showed a peak at the surface; Tintinnopsis spp. occurred only in the upper 30 m; A. norvegica occurred in low abundance throughout the water column; and Stenosemella spp. was not detected in surface waters. There was variation in abundance of different species in St. C in the 18-day period. However, the tintinnid community did not change according to cluster analysis. These results are helpful in understanding the distribution of other plankton taxon and in long-term monitoring of the Kongsfjorden marine ecosystem.

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Dr. Sabine Agatha and Dr. Marina Monti identified the specimens shown in the micrographs provided in the supplementary material and usually provided two or more alternative determinations, as the single micrographs of each morphotype did not show all relevant characteristics. Based on their suggestions and further micrographs, we performed the final determination. We are grateful to John Dolan and International Science Editing Compuscript Ltd for aid in editing the manuscript. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 41121064, 41206189) and project 13/14YR04 of CAA, SOA.

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Correspondence to Wuchang Zhang.

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Feng, M., Zhang, W. & Xiao, T. Spatial and temporal distribution of tintinnid (Ciliophora: Tintinnida) communities in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard (Arctic), during summer. Polar Biol 37, 291–296 (2014).

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  • Tintinnid community
  • Spatial distribution
  • Temporal variation
  • Kongsfjorden
  • Arctic fjord