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Biodiversity of Benthic Macro- and Microalgae from Svalbard with Special Focus on Kongsfjorden

  • Stein FredriksenEmail author
  • Ulf Karsten
  • Inka Bartsch
  • Jana Woelfel
  • Miriam Koblowsky
  • Rhena Schumann
  • Siri Røang Moy
  • Robert S. Steneck
  • Józef M. Wiktor
  • Haakon Hop
  • Christian Wiencke
Chapter
  • 274 Downloads
Part of the Advances in Polar Ecology book series (AVPE, volume 2)

Abstract

Several floristic studies on macroalgae of Svalbard have been published, but as access to the archipelago is difficult, these studies are scattered and often only cover single sites and habitats. Kongsfjorden, Isfjorden and Hornsund are the three most comprehensively investigated areas, and most of the species information comes from these three fjords. Quantitative and structured sublittoral sampling has been undertaken along depth transects and along the fjord only in Kongsfjorden. Clear differences are found from the outer to the inner parts of the fjord. Macroalgal biodiversity data from Kongsfjorden are presented in detail and compared to data for the whole archipelago. In total 197 species of macroalgae have been recorded for Svalbard; 84 of these occur in Kongsfjorden. The current taxonomic status of some species is discussed. Changes in the macroalgal flora during the last decades for Svalbard in general and in Kongsfjorden in particular, are summarised and possible causes discussed. Information on biodiversity of microphytobenthos is very scarce, and investigations in Kongsfjorden on benthic diatoms from soft bottom and biotic surfaces provide the first floristic information available. A total of 69 diatoms species have been identified and form a first baseline for a high-latitude fjord system. Biodiversity is relatively low compared to other sandy marine shallow water areas of temperate regions as indicated by the Shannon-Weaver index. Some data on epiphytic diatoms colonising seaweeds are available. Benthic diatoms colonise large parts of Kongsfjorden in high abundances and, in addition to macroalgae, are important as primary producers and therefore also for trophic relationships in the harsh Arctic environment.

Keywords

Arctic Svalbard Kongsfjorden Macroalgae Microalgae Species diversity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The work on microphytobenthos has been performed at the Ny-Ålesund International Arctic Environmental Research and Monitoring Facility and under the agreement on scientific cooperation between the Alfred Wegener Institute and the University of Rostock. The authors thank the crew at the AWIPEV-base in Ny-Ålesund and the German dive team (Anita Flohr, Peter Leopold, Max Schwanitz) for assistance in the field, collecting samples and further support. Sediment tubes for sampling were manufactured by Peter Kumm (Institute of Chemistry, University of Rostock). We are grateful to Agnieszka Tatarek (Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sopot) for counting and identifying diatom samples. Financing and logistic support of the microphytobenthic research was provided by the German Research Council (DFG, KA899/12 and KA899/15). Parts of the macroalgal sampling reported here were carried out by divers from the AWI; we are grateful for their contribution, especially to Max Schwanitz and Martin Paar. Line transects at different locations in Kongsfjorden, from inner to outer fjord, were carried out by divers from the Norwegian Polar Institute. The authors thank Joachim Bartsch for giving a final touch to the English and Sandra C. Lindstrom and Susse Wegeberg for valuable critique and comments during the review process.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stein Fredriksen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ulf Karsten
    • 2
  • Inka Bartsch
    • 3
  • Jana Woelfel
    • 4
  • Miriam Koblowsky
    • 2
  • Rhena Schumann
    • 2
  • Siri Røang Moy
    • 5
  • Robert S. Steneck
    • 6
  • Józef M. Wiktor
    • 7
  • Haakon Hop
    • 8
    • 9
  • Christian Wiencke
    • 3
  1. 1.Section for Aquatic Biology and Toxicology, Department of BiosciencesUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Biological Sciences, Applied Ecology and PhycologyUniversity of RostockRostockGermany
  3. 3.Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Aquatic Ecology, Institute of Biological SciencesUniversity of RostockRostockGermany
  5. 5.Department of BiosciencesUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  6. 6.Darling Marine CenterWalpoleUSA
  7. 7.Institute of OceanologyPolish Academy of SciencesSopotPoland
  8. 8.Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram CentreTromsøNorway
  9. 9.Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and EconomicsUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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