Species composition and abundance of the shallow water fish community of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard


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Philipp.Fischer [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Projections show that climate change will lead to structural change in Arctic ecosystems. Studies project the extinction of local species and intense species invasion to the Arctic Ocean. A lack of basic biological data about the Arctic shallow water fish community will make it hard to assess whether these communities will change or not. Baseline studies in combination with future reassessments are needed to establish a basic knowledge about the change of these communities. This study provides a quantitative first time description of the shallow water fish community of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. The fish assemblage in the depth range from 3 to 12 m was determined with respect to abundance and species composition. Among a total sample size of 2804 specimens, the presence of 12 fish species and one family (Liparidae) was detected. Myoxocephalus scorpius (shorthorn sculpin) (74.9 %), Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) (17.2 %), and Gymnocanthus tricuspis (Arctic staghorn sculpin) (3.8 %) were identified as the most abundant species across all sampling sites. A signif- icant relationship between algal coverage and fish abun- dance was detected. Furthermore, we demonstrated a fjord inward increase in biodiversity along the south shore that might be correlated with a change in hydrographic regime.



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Scopus/ISI peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
41600
DOI 10.1007/s00300-016-2022-y

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Brand, M. and Fischer, P. (2016): Species composition and abundance of the shallow water fish community of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard , Polar Biology . doi: 10.1007/s00300-016-2022-y


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