Spatial and temporal distribution patterns of benthic foraminifera in the Northeast Water Polynya, Greenland

Ahrens, Michael J., Graf, Gerhard and Altenbach, Alexander V. (1997) Spatial and temporal distribution patterns of benthic foraminifera in the Northeast Water Polynya, Greenland Journal of Marine Systems, 10 (1-4). pp. 445-465. DOI 10.1016/S0924-7963(96)00052-8.

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Abundance, biofacies and ATP content of benthic foraminifera (>63 μm) were studied in the Northeast Water (NEW) Polynya (77–81°N, 5–17°W) over the ice-free summer, 1993, to investigate how a polynya system might influence the underlying benthic community. In the living assemblage, distinguished by Rose Bengal staining, over 60 taxa could be identified. The biofacies identified was similar to that of other Arctic shelf habitats. Foraminifera were counted in 3 size fractions (63–125 μm, 125–250 μm and >250 μm), with 65% of the foraminifera occurring in the smallest size fraction (63–125 μm). Total abundances (>63 μm) in the uppermost 1 cm averaged approximately 200 ind/10 cm3 and declined down-core, as did the number of species. Abundances and species composition correlated positively with sediment chlorophyll and ATP content, with maxima occurring in the shallower northern regions of the polynya, suggesting a general dependence on food. Foraminera biomass was estimated to be 0.1-0.3 g Corg/m2. Abundances, biomass and ATP content were comparable to ice-free, deep-sea regions in the Norwegian Sea. Temporal changes observed over a 2 month period at one location were difficult to distinguish from spatial and analytical variability. Contrary to expectations, growth was unpronounced at the community and at a species level, implying either a delayed response of the benthic foraminiferal community to food inputs from the overlying water column or the presence of biological limitations other than food, such as predation.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: foraminifera; polynya; Arctic ocean; biofacies; biomass; species diversity; benthic taxa
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0924-7963(96)00052-8
ISSN: 0924-7963
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 13:06
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 11:06

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