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A Study and Comparison of Species Composition and the Influencing Abiotic Factors of the Benthic Ecosystems at HAUSGARTEN IV, N3 and S3 in 2004 and 2007

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Taylor, J. (2012): A Study and Comparison of Species Composition and the Influencing Abiotic Factors of the Benthic Ecosystems at HAUSGARTEN IV, N3 and S3 in 2004 and 2007 Master thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Abstract:

Megafaunal organisms play important roles in deep benthic ecosystems and contribute significantly to benthic biomass in the Arctic. Despite this little is known about their composition and temporal dynamics and therefore it was the aim of this study to shed light on these dark areas. The study was undertaken using camera transects from 2004 & 2007 at HAUSGARTEN stations N3, S3 and IV in the Fram Strait. This work was undertaken as part of a continual study conducted by scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research with images being obtained during Arctic cruises aboard the German icebreaker Polarstern. The results indicate that megafaunal densities increased greatly at station N3 (12.37 to 36.17 ind. m-2), decreased at station S3 (12.44 to 11.59 ind. m-2) and decreased significantly at IV (18.50 to 9.41 ind. m-2). The study also looked at species composition between transects, each station and year, and also along individual transects themselves as well as the abiotic factors that influenced species composition. Differences in the species compositions were identified and the key species for causing these differences analysed.

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