, Volume 706, Issue 1, pp 175–189 | Cite as

Long-term temporal and spatial variation of macrobenthos in the intertidal soft-bottom flats of two small bights (Chupa Inlet, Kandalaksha Bay, White Sea)

  • Marina Varfolomeeva
  • Andrew Naumov


Despite the dynamic nature of spatial pattern, the temporal variation of spatial structure of marine benthic assemblages is rarely assessed using several temporal scales. We quantified the variability of density and biomass of main benthic species in the intertidal soft-bottom flats at two bights in Chupa Inlet (Kandalaksha Bay, the White Sea). The data cover the 21-year period (1987–2008) of a long-term monitoring survey (1987–present) using a hierarchical sampling design with two temporal (year, season within a year) and three spatial scales (bights—7 km, stations within a bight—10–100 m, and replicate samples—10 s cm apart). We used nested ANOVA to test significance and variance components to compare the relative contribution of different scales of variability of density and biomass of 18 most occurring macrobenthic species. Some species demonstrated high large-scale variability, however, the majority showed high small-scale variability and residual variance. The interactive variability was at least as important as the temporal effects, indicating that the spatial pattern changes through time. The assemblages were more variable at small scales and more stable at larger scales. Potential implications for sampling design are discussed.


Spatial and temporal scale Long-term studies Soft-bottom intertidal assemblages The White Sea 



The material was obtained by three persons mainly. Dr. V.V. Fedaykov participated in the work in years 1987–1999, Dr. M.V. Fokin in years 2000–2009 and Dr. A.D. Naumov since 1989 up to present. Our colleagues Dr. K.V. Galaktionov, Dr. K.E. Nikolaev and Dr. I.A. Levakin kindly helped us in winter fieldwork for the last 10 years. We thank numerous students of Saint Petersburg State University for their help in the fieldwork. We would like to thank the anonymous referees for the comments which helped to enhance this paper. This study was funded from different sources: as a scheduled research topic of the Zoological Institute RAS, by the research grant from the Commission of the European Communities INCO-Copernicus-II ICA2-CT-2000-10053, by the program of fundamental research of the Branch of Biological Sciences of Russian Academy of Sciences “Biological resources of Russia: estimation of state and essential principals of monitoring” and by the program of fundamental research of the Presidium of Russian Academy of Sciences “Biological diversity”.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Invertebrate ZoologySt. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.White Sea Biological StationZoological Institute Russian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia

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