MEPS 603:29-46 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12713

Hyperbenthic food-web structure in an Arctic fjord

Maeve McGovern1,2,3,4,6,*, Jørgen Berge2,3, Beata Szymczycha5, Jan Marcin Węsławski5, Paul E. Renaud1,2

1Akvaplan-niva, Fram Centre for Climate and the Environment, 9296 Tromsø, Norway
2University of Tromsø, 9027 Tromsø, Norway
3University Centre in Svalbard, 9171 Longyearbyen, Norway
4Nord University, Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Postbox 1490, 8049 Bodø, Norway
5Institute of Oceanology PAS, ul. Powstancow Warszawy 55, 81-712 Sopot, Poland
6Present address: Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Gaustadalleen 21, 0349 Oslo, Norway
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Current knowledge of the Arctic marine ecosystem is based primarily on studies performed during the polar day on the pelagic and benthic realms. Both the polar night and the hyperbenthic layer remain as substantial knowledge gaps in our understanding of the marine system at high latitudes. This study investigated the hyperbenthic food web in Kongsfjord, a high-latitude, ice-free fjord, in September 2014 and January 2015. The hyperbenthic food web was analyzed using a multi-biomarker approach including stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as well as fatty acid profiles of a variety of hyperbenthic taxa. While results suggested no difference in biomarker composition between September and January, they indicated a division in the sampled hyperbenthic species assemblage between pelagic and benthic feeders in both sampling periods. The presence of these 2 food-web pathways may have implications for maintaining higher trophic levels through the polar night, thereby enhancing stability in the Kongsfjord system.


KEY WORDS: Hyperbenthos · Suprabenthos · Benthic-boundary layer zooplankton · Kongsfjord · Stable isotopes · Fatty acids · Benthic-pelagic coupling


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Cite this article as: McGovern M, Berge J, Szymczycha B, Weęsławski JM, Renaud PE (2018) Hyperbenthic food-web structure in an Arctic fjord. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 603:29-46. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12713

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