Biodiversity of benthic macro-and microalgae from Svalbard with special focus on Kongsfjorden

Inka.Bartsch [ at ]


Several floristic studies on macroalgae of Svalbard have been published, but as access to the archipelago is difficult, these studies are scattered and often only cover single sites and habitats. Kongsfjorden, Isfjorden and Hornsund are the three most comprehensively investigated areas, and most of the species information comes from these three fjords. Quantitative and structured sublittoral sampling has been undertaken along depth transects and along the fjord only in Kongsfjorden. Clear dif-ferences are found from the outer to the inner parts of the fjord. Macroalgal biodiversity data from Kongsfjorden are presented in detail and compared to data for the whole archipelago. In total 197 species of macroalgae have been recorded for Svalbard; 84 of these occur in Kongsfjorden. The current taxonomic status of some species is discussed. Changes in the macroalgal flora during the last decades for Svalbard in general and in Kongsfjorden in particular, are summarised and possible causes discussed. Information on biodiversity of microphytobenthos is very scarce, and investigations in Kongsfjorden on benthic diatoms from soft bottom and biotic surfaces provide the first floristic information available. A total of 69 diatoms species have been identified and form a first baseline for a high-latitude fjord system. Biodiversity is relatively low compared to other sandy marine shallow water areas of temperate regions as indicated by the Shannon-Weaver index. Some data on epiphytic diatoms colonising seaweeds are available. Benthic diatoms colonise large parts of Kongsfjorden in high abundances and, in addition to macroalgae, are important as primary producers and therefore also for trophic relationships in the harsh Arctic environment.

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DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-46425-1_9

Cite as
Fredriksen, S. , Karsten, U. , Bartsch, I. , Woelfel, J. , Koblowsky, M. , Schumann, R. , Roang Moy, S. , Steneck, R. S. , Wiktor, J. M. , Hop, H. and Wiencke, C. (2019): Biodiversity of benthic macro-and microalgae from Svalbard with special focus on Kongsfjorden / H. Hop and C. Wiencke (editors) , In: The ecosystem of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, Advances in Polar Ecology 2, Cham, Springer Nature Switzerland AG, 41 p., ISBN: 978-3-319-46423-7 . doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-46425-1_9

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