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Diversity, ecology and community structure of the freshwater littoral diatom flora from Petuniabukta (Spitsbergen)
Pinseel, E.; Van de Vijver, B.; Kavan, J.; Verleyen, E. (2016). Diversity, ecology and community structure of the freshwater littoral diatom flora from Petuniabukta (Spitsbergen). Polar Biol. 40(3): 533-551. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-016-1976-0
In: Polar Biology. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 0722-4060; e-ISSN 1432-2056, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 299915 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Algae > Diatoms
    Water bodies > Inland waters > Lakes
    Water bodies > Inland waters > Ponds
Author keywords
    Arctic region; Community analysis; Spitsbergen

Authors  Top 
  • Pinseel, E., more
  • Van de Vijver, B., more
  • Kavan, J.
  • Verleyen, E., more

Abstract
    Despite the frequent application of diatoms in palaeoecological research in the High Arctic, our knowledge concerning the diversity, ecology, community associations, community dynamics and survival strategies of High Arctic freshwater littoral diatom floras is still rather limited. In the present study, the diversity, ecological characteristics and community structures of the freshwater littoral diatom flora from ponds and lakes of Petuniabukta (Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago) were studied. In total, 87 samples from the littoral zone of 53 freshwater ponds and lakes were examined using light and scanning electron microscopy. A highly diverse diatom flora dominated by Achnanthidium and Nitzschia was observed. In total, 310 diatom taxa belonging to 59 genera were found, of which about one-third could not be identified beyond the genus level. Based on species composition, four main diatom communities were distinguished. Differences in environmental characteristics, such as habitat type, habitat diversity, habitat stability, streams, water pH and influence of the fjord, biota and human activities, appeared to be important factors in determining the observed diatom communities. The high number of unidentified taxa in this study indicates that a profound revision of the Arctic diatom flora is highly desired, not only to improve our fundamental knowledge concerning the diversity, ecology, community associations and biogeography of Arctic diatoms but also to aid applied (palaeo)environmental sciences.

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