An in situ experiment on metazoan meiofauna colonisation and succession was carried out at Brandal (78°56.88N, 11°51.63E) situated in the arctic glacial Kongsfjorden (Spitsbergen). 28 soft sediment containers were deployed at 20 m depth and sampled after a one, two and three years immersion period. Main taxonomic groups and abundance of colonising meiofauna are described and compared. Meiofauna communities at Brandal show the highest densities reported for inner Kongsfjorden to date. While the three exposure varieties and the ambient sediments did not differ in total individual numbers the treatments showed marked differences in community structure as detected by ANOSIM based on Bray Curtis and cosine similarity. The extended three year period until a community stage comparable to ambient sediments was reached leads to the assumption that long recovery and colonisation times are to be expected for polar shallow water meiofauna.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > POL4-Response of higher marine life to change