Macroalgal biodiversity and biomass of Kongsfjorden through time and space

luisa.duesedau [ at ]


Macroalgae are major primary producers and ecosystem engineers along rocky shores of the Arctic. With Svalbard being a hotspot of global warming, macroalgal species distribution and biomass is undergoing rapid changes, presumably affecting all associated life forms. The overall retreat of the yearly ice cover is only the centerpiece in a complex interplay of environmental drivers noticeably altering light availability, disturbance regimes and nutrient supply for Arctic seaweeds. Between 1996/1998 and 2012/2013 ecosystem changes were observed at our study site Hansneset in Kongsfjorden, as algal biomass in the littoral zone doubled and the macroalgal biomass peak, as well as the lower distribution limit of most dominating kelp species, shifted upwards by several meters. In summer 2021, we seek to complement these datasets. Our interdisciplinary group will repeat the quantitative monitoring study to examine how the community pattern of seaweeds and their associated fauna has changed since the last expedition. In detail, we will quantify macroalgal biomass and biodiversity, the age structure and fertility of kelp species, and the biomass and biodiversity of associated animals along a depth gradient between 0 and 15 m. Incorporated into the European Horizon 2020 project FACE-IT and two associated Svalbard Science Forum field grants, our superior aim is to analyse the response of benthic macroalgal assemblages to observed cryosphere changes in a broad context. In this poster, we will share the first results from this year’s field samplings and show how abundances, biomass and species diversity of macroalgae have changed over the last decades at our investigation site and what this means in general for the development of macroalgae on Arctic coasts.

Item Type
Conference (Poster)
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Publication Status
Event Details
Svalbard Science Conference 2021, 02 Nov 2021 - 03 Nov 2021, Oslo.
Eprint ID
Cite as
Duesedau, L. , Fredriksen, S. , Brand, M. , Savoie, A. , Jungblut, S. , Molis, M. , Niklass, J. , Buschbaum, C. , Bischof, K. and Bartsch, I. , Alfred-Wegener-Insitute, University of Bremen, University of Oslo, Canadian Museum of Nature, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway (2021): Macroalgal biodiversity and biomass of Kongsfjorden through time and space , Svalbard Science Conference 2021, Oslo, 2 November 2021 - 3 November 2021 .

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