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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Six environmental parameters significantly relate to the observed pattern of high megabenthic secondary production in the northeastern Barents Sea.Image: Renate Degen

Degen R, Jørgensen LL, Ljubin P, Ellingsen IH, Pehlke H, Brey T


Patterns and drivers of megabenthic secondary production on the Barents Sea shelf


Megabenthos plays a major role in the energy flow on Arctic shelves; however, there is a paucity of studies linking benthic production patterns to ecosystem processes on large spatial scales. Degen and colleagues estimated megabenthic secondary production for the entire Barents Sea shelf and investigated spatial patterns and relationships using GIS. Secondary production was significantly higher on the northeastern, seasonally ice-covered shelf, than on the permanently ice-free southwest shelf. The ongoing decrease of winter sea ice extent and results from this study are indicative of a likely future decline in benthic secondary production due to the reduced shelf area influenced by ice-edge processes and dynamics.


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