Benthic spatial biodiversity patterns in the seas of the Arctic Siberian shelf

casper.kraan [ at ]


Climate change and its consequences are very pronounced in the Arctic Siberian shelf region and impact marine benthic organisms. Even small changes in the environment could have wide-ranging consequences for benthic communities, food webs and ecosystem functions. Yet, little is known about the response of benthic communities towards these changing environmental conditions. Combining data from different regions and the employment of recent ecological modelling approaches should allow to address this knowledge gap, and investigate the community structures, diversity and ecosystem functions in Arctic benthos across larger scales. Here we present our plans to achieve this. The required ecological data for such modelling approaches are provided by expeditions in the Arctic seas from the years 1991, 1993, 2013 and 2014. Sixty-nine stations across the Arctic Sea were sampled by trawling and grab methods. These data have been cleaned and harmonised, resulting in data on around 400 species. (1) Spatial variation in community composition will be investigated by the help of Moran’s eigenvector mapping. Results will show which abiotic variables, such as ice cover or Chlorophyll-a, are important at which scale and which macrobenthic species are most associated with these distinct scales. (2) Species archetype models shall define distinct groupings, their probability of occurrence across Arctic Siberian Shelf seas and determine which environmental variables are most important for which archetype. (3) Spatial patterns in functional redundancy will show spatial patterning in traits related to ecosystem functioning across Arctic Siberian shelf seas.

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Conference (Poster)
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Arctic Change, 10 Dec 2017 - 10 Dec 2017, Quebec, Canada.
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Hansen, M. , Kraan, C. and Piepenburg, D. (2017): Benthic spatial biodiversity patterns in the seas of the Arctic Siberian shelf , Arctic Change, Quebec, Canada, 10 December 2017 - 10 December 2017 .

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