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Benthic fauna of the Gorlo Strait, White Sea: a first species inventory based on data from three different decades from the 1920s to 2000s
Solyanko, K.; Spiridonov, V.; Naumov, A. (2011). Benthic fauna of the Gorlo Strait, White Sea: a first species inventory based on data from three different decades from the 1920s to 2000s. Mar. Biodiv. 41(3): 441-453.
In: Marine Biodiversity. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 1867-1616, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Biogeography; Climatic changes; Data; History; Inventories; Macrobenthos; Species; Taxonomy; PN, Arctic [Marine Regions]; PNE, Russia, White Sea [Marine Regions]; Marine

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  • Solyanko, K.
  • Spiridonov, V.
  • Naumov, A.

    This study presents an inventory of the sublittoral macrobenthic fauna of the Gorlo Strait, based on historical surveys (1922, 1980s) and an investigation carried out in 2004. A comparison of the species lists was carried out, giving particular attention to current nomenclature, synonymies and biogeographical affinity. Differences in species lists can be explained by differences in sampling gear and design, but generally species lists are complementary. The total number of species in all surveys amounts to 322, with an additional 39 taxa unidentified to species level. All the species identified represent 254 genera and 166 families. The macrobenthic fauna of the Gorlo is thus generally rich but mostly consists of rarely occurring species. This is discussed in the light of specific environmental conditions of the Gorlo, in particular low primary productivity in the water column, strong tidal currents and the unstable lithodynamics. The combined species list was characterised by high taxonomic distinctness index (96) sensu Clarke and Warwick (1998); the indices calculated for particular surveys showed only slight and mostly statistically non-significant differences from this value. The biogeographic structure of species composition of Gorlo does not differ between years, with the Arctic-boreal species constituting the majority (about 60%) and the Boreal and Arctic species having nearly equal shares (about 15%). Although our study revealed few North Atlantic species not hitherto recorded in the White Sea, stable shares of species with particular biogeographical affinity at the decadal scale, stability of the taxonomic distinctness indices and small differences in the composition of the core of most commonly occurring species indicate the absence of major shifts in the faunal composition: current climatic changes most probably have not yet significantly affected specific oceanographical conditions and benthic habitats of the Gorlo which shape the local macrobenthic fauna.

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