Arctic rhodolith beds and their environmental controls (Spitsbergen, Norway).

Teichert, S., Woelkerling, W., Rüggeberg, Andres , Wisshak, M., Piepenburg, Dieter, Meyerhöfer, Michael, Form, Armin U. and Freiwald, Andre (2014) Arctic rhodolith beds and their environmental controls (Spitsbergen, Norway). Facies, 60 (1). pp. 15-37. DOI 10.1007/s10347-013-0372-2.

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Coralline algae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) that form rhodoliths are important ecosystem engineers and carbonate producers in many polar coastal habitats. This study deals with rhodolith communities from Floskjeret (78°18′N), Krossfjorden (79°08′N), and Mosselbukta (79°53′N), off Spitsbergen Island, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway. Strong seasonal variations in temperature, salinity, light regime, sea-ice coverage, and turbidity characterize these localities. The coralline algal flora consists of Lithothamnion glaciale and Phymatolithon tenue. Well-developed rhodoliths were recorded between 27 and 47 m water depth, while coralline algal encrustations on lithoclastic cobbles were detected down to 77 m water depth. At all sites, ambient waters were saturated with respect to both aragonite and calcite, and the rhodolith beds were located predominately at dysphotic water depths. The rhodolith-associated macrobenthic fauna included grazing organisms such as chitons and echinoids. With decreasing water depth, the rhodolith pavements were regularly overgrown by non-calcareous Polysiphonia-like red algae. The corallines are thriving and are highly specialized in their adaptations to the physical environment as well as in their interaction with the associated benthic fauna, which is similar to other polar rhodolith communities. The marine environment of Spitsbergen is already affected by a climate-driven ecological regime shift and will lead to an increased borealization in the near future, with presently unpredictable consequences for coralline red algal communities.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000329625100002 Mean water temperatures and salinities are based on data from LEVITUS 94, available from: Annual sea ice formation and breakup data are based on AMSR-E Sea Ice Maps, available from: Polar night duration data are based on USNO Sun Rise Tables, available from:
Keywords: Depth gradient; Environmental parameters; Lithothamnion glaciale; Phymatolithon tenue; Rhodolith community; Seasonality; Spitsbergen; JAGO
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Springer
Related URLs:
Projects: Transdrift, Laptev Sea System, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2013 13:45
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2020 07:41

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