Distribution of Polychaeta Communities in the Western and Northern Part of the Barents Sea


Species composition and quantitative characteristics of polychaetes in the western and northern parts of the Barents Sea were analyzed on the basis of the material collected in July and November 2017 on MMBI expeditions aboard the RV “Dalniye Zelentsy”. Three faunistic polychaete complexes were revealed, depending on environmental conditions in the study area. A change in species composition and structure of communities from the bottom topography, structure of bottom sediments and bottom hydrodynamics were noted. An increase in biomass and density of polychaetes settlement was revealed in deep-water areas of the Barents Sea, on soft silty-clay soils, where the dominant species is Spiochaetopterus typicus. A decrease in quantitative characteristics of polychaetes was observed in shallow areas, on hard soils, in the zone of intensive erosion of bottom sediments as a result of warm and cold currents interaction, where the polychaete Nothria hyperborea dominated.

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