Diversity of shell-bearing gastropods along the western coast of the Arctic archipelago Novaya Zemlya: an evaluation of modern and historical data

Abstract

Accurate estimation of biodiversity is necessary to provide a baseline for further ecosystem investigations and protection of High Arctic regions. Novaya Zemlya is a large Arctic archipelago located on the border between the Barents and Kara Seas. Despite a long history of investigation, data on species composition along the coast of Novaya Zemlya are presented only in sources from the initial period of investigation in the late 19th to early 20th century. We estimate herein the diversity of shell-bearing Gastropoda found along the western coast of Novaya Zemlya, based on both published sources and our original identification of material collected between 1985 and 2008. The total species list contains 86 species, 24 of which were identified only from the recent material, while 28 were only reported in literature. Our results demonstrate that modern and historical data are significantly different. However, these differences do not indicate any changes in species composition in the region during the last century, but rather arise for methodological reasons. Even combined, the two types of data do not provide complete coverage of the fauna. We also carried out a preliminary comparison between local coastal gastropod faunas from various parts of the Barents Sea (including Novaya Zemlya).

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Ann-Helen Rønning (Oslo, Norway) for her valuable advice on early publications and help with searching for literature and to Yuta Tamberg (Saint Petersburg, Russia) for language editing. We also thank the staff of the Laboratory of Zoobenthos of Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (Murmansk, Russia) for kind assistance during our work with recent material.

Funding

The work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant no. 16-34-00372 mol_a).

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Correspondence to Ivan O. Nekhaev.

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Nekhaev, I.O., Krol, E.N. Diversity of shell-bearing gastropods along the western coast of the Arctic archipelago Novaya Zemlya: an evaluation of modern and historical data. Polar Biol 40, 2279–2289 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-017-2140-1

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Keywords

  • Arctic
  • Barents Sea
  • Gastropoda
  • Species diversity
  • Novaya Zemlya
  • Historical data