Polar Biology

, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 1765–1784 | Cite as

Distribution and abundance of euphausiids and pelagic amphipods in Kongsfjorden, Isfjorden and Rijpfjorden (Svalbard) and changes in their relative importance as key prey in a warming marine ecosystem

  • Padmini DalpadadoEmail author
  • Haakon Hop
  • Jon Rønning
  • Vladimir Pavlov
  • Erik Sperfeld
  • Friedrich Buchholz
  • Alina Rey
  • Anette Wold
Original Paper


Euphausiid (krill) and amphipod dynamics were studied during 2006–2011 by use of plankton nets in Kongsfjorden (79°N) and adjacent waters, also including limited sampling in Isfjorden (78°N) and Rijpfjorden (80°N). The objectives of the study were to assess how variations in physical characteristics across fjord systems affect the distribution and abundance of euphausiids and amphipods and the potential for these macrozooplankton species to reproduce in these waters. The abundances of euphausiids and amphipods were higher in Kongsfjorden than in Rijpfjorden and Isfjorden, and the highest abundances were observed at the innermost stations of Kongsfjorden, where Thysanoessa inermis and Themisto libellula dominated. The Atlantic species Thysanoessa longicaudata, Meganyctiphanes norvegica and Themisto abyssorum dominated at the outside Kongsfjorden. Inter-annual and seasonal variability in abundances of euphausiids and amphipods were evident. The presence of ripe euphausiids outside Kongsfjorden indicates that they may reproduce in these areas. Mature individuals of T. abyssorum were recorded mainly outside Kongsfjorden, whereas no mature or ripe T. libellula were present in both the inner and outer parts of this fjord. If the warming trend persists, as seen during the last decade, this would favour the Atlantic/boreal euphausiid species, while Arctic species, such as the amphipod T. libellula, may decline. Euphausiids and amphipods are major food of capelin (Mallotus villosus) and polar cod (Boreogadus saida), respectively, in this region, and changes in prey abundance will likely have an impact on the feeding dynamics of these important fish species.


Macrozooplankton Thysanoessa Themisto Kongsfjorden Arctic fjord systems Climate effect 



This work was partially funded by the Barents Sea Research Program at the Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway, Trophic interactions in the Barents Sea—steps towards an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (TIBIA-NRC Project No. 228880), and by MOSJ—Environmental monitoring—Svalbard and Jan Mayen ( and MariClim NRC Project 165112/S30. We thank Karen Gjertsen for help with layout of figures and Signe Johannessen for assistance received in the initial phase of sample analysis. Our thanks are extended to IO PAN Physical Oceanography Department, Polish Academy of Sciences, for giving us access to temperature data from 2003 to 2005. We are very grateful to Michael Greenacre, three anonymous referees for their valuable comments and Patrick Ressler for language improvements.

Supplementary material

300_2015_1874_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (238 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 237 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Padmini Dalpadado
    • 1
    Email author
  • Haakon Hop
    • 2
  • Jon Rønning
    • 1
  • Vladimir Pavlov
    • 2
  • Erik Sperfeld
    • 1
    • 3
  • Friedrich Buchholz
    • 4
  • Alina Rey
    • 1
  • Anette Wold
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Marine ResearchBergenNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian Polar InstituteFram CentreTromsøNorway
  3. 3.Department of Experimental LimnologyLeibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)StechlinGermany
  4. 4.Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany

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