Do bioturbation and consumption affect coastal Arctic marine soft-bottom communities?
- 262 Downloads
Biotic factors such as bioturbation and predation affect abundance and species composition of marine soft-bottom communities from tropical to temperate regions, but their impact has been rarely investigated in Arctic coastal systems. By conducting a factorial manipulative field experiment, we excluded the bioturbating lugworm Arenicola marina and predacious consumers from a sedimentary nearshore area in Kongsfjorden (Spitsbergen) for 70 days to explore their role in structuring the benthic community. The removal of A. marina caused an increase in average species number by 25 %, a doubling increase in the average number of individuals and an increase in dry mass of benthic organisms by, on average, 73 % in comparison with untreated areas. Additionally, community composition was significantly modified by lugworm exclusion resulting in higher average densities of the cumacean Lamprops fuscatus (4.2-fold), the polychaete worms Euchone analis (3.7-fold) and Pygospio cf. elegans (1.5-fold), the bivalve Crenella decussata (2.8-fold) and the amphipod Crassicorophium crassicorne (1.2-fold), which primarily contribute to the observed differences. Consumer exclusion, by contrast, showed no effects on the response variables. This result was independent from bioturbation due to missing interaction between both biotic factors. We conclude that present levels of bioturbation may considerably affect Arctic coastal soft-bottom communities. In contrast, predation by macro-epibenthic consumers currently seems to be of minor importance. This might change in a predicted warmer Arctic with assumed higher predator abundances and a northward expansion of boreal consumers.
KeywordsBioturbation Predation Soft-bottom benthos Arctic shallow water Field experiment
This work was performed at the International Arctic Environmental Research and Monitoring Facility at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen, Norway. We thank Christian Wiencke for his great support. We are grateful for logistic support by the AWIPEV and the AWI diving group, in particular, Max Schwanitz for indispensable technical consultation and support. Underwater field assistance by Kai Schwalfenberg and Florian Sprung is acknowledged. Comments by D. Lackschewitz, P. Renaud, G. Veit-Köhler, M. Greenacre and one anonymous reviewer greatly improved an earlier version of the manuscript. We thank Lilo Herre for her help in the organization of our expedition.
- Cadée GC (2001) Sediment dynamics by bioturbating organisms. In: Reise K (ed) Ecological comparisons of sedimentary shores. Springer, Berlin, pp 128–148Google Scholar
- Clarke KR, Warwick RM (2001) Change in marine communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation, 2nd edn. PlymouthGoogle Scholar
- Gulliksen B, Palerud R, Brattegard T, Sneli J-A (1999) Distribution of benthic macro-organisms at Svalbard (including Bear Island) and Jan Mayen. Research Report for DN 1999-4. Directorate for Nature Management, Trondheim, NorwayGoogle Scholar
- Herrmann M (2006) Makrozoobenthos-Gemeinschaften arktischer Weichböden: Struktur und Bedeutung als Nahrungsgrundlage demersaler Fische. Berichte zur Polar- und Meeresforschung. Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meersforschung, BremerhavenGoogle Scholar
- Hop H, Pearson TH, Nøst Hegseth E, Kovacs KM, Wiencke C, Kwasniewski S, Eiane K, Mehlum F, Gulliksen B, Wlodarska-Kowalczuk M, Lydersen C, Weslawski JM, Cochrane S, Gabrielsen GW, Leaky RJG, Lønne OJ, Zajączkowski M, Falk-Petersen S, Kendall M, Wängberg S-Å, Bischof K, Voronkov AY, Kovaltchouk NA, Wiktor J, Poltermann M, di Prisco G, Papucci C, Gerland S (2002) The marine ecosystem of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Polar Res 21:167–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ito H, Kudoh S (1997) Characteristics of water in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Proc NIPR Symp Polar Meterol Glaciol 11:211–232Google Scholar
- Kaczmarek H, Wlodarska-Kowalczuk M, Legeżyńska J, Zajączkowski M (2005) Shallow sublittoral macrozoobenthos in Kongsfjord, West Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Pol Polar Res 26:137–155Google Scholar
- Olafsson EBC, Peterson CW, Ambrose WG (1994) Does recruitment limitation structure populations and communities of macro-invertebrates in marine sediments: the relative importance of pre- and post-settlement processes. Oceanogr Mar Biol Ann Rev 32:65–109Google Scholar
- Pillay D, Branch GM (2011) Bioengineering effects of burrowing thalassinidean shrimps on marine soft-bottom ecosystems. Oceanogr Mar Biol Ann Rev 49:137–192Google Scholar
- Riisgard HU, Banta GT (1998) Irrigation and deposit feeding by the lugworm Arenicola marina, characteristics and secondary effects on the environment. A review of current knowledge. Vie Milieu 48:243–257Google Scholar
- Svendsen H, Beszczynska-Møller A, Hagen JO, Lefauconnier B, Tverberg V, Gerland S, Ørbæk JB, Bischof K, Papucci C, Zajączkowski M, Azzolini R, Bruland O, Wiencke C, Winther J-G, Dallmann W (2002) The physical environment of Kongsfjorden–Krossfjorden, an Arctic fjord system in Svalbard. Polar Res 21:133–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thompson JC (2002) The influence of hunger and olfactory cues on the feeding behavior of the waved whelk, Buccinum undatum, on the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis. Veliger 45:55–57Google Scholar
- Voronkov A, Hop H, Gulliksen B (2013) Diversity of hard-bottom fauna relative to environmental gradients in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Polar Res 32: 11208. http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/polar.v32i0.11208
- Woodin SA (1986) Settlement of infauna: larval choice? B Mar Sci 39:401–407Google Scholar