Life on the floor of the Arctic Ocean, with rigor and in detail

October 17, 2018

In an extensive and rigorous study of animal life on the Central Arctic Ocean floor, researchers have shown that water depth and food availability influence the species composition, density, and biomass of benthic communities, according to a study published October 17, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. The study, led by a team including Antje Boetius of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany, also confirmed for the first time that species diversity on the Arctic floor display a similar depth-related pattern to that seen in more temperate waters.

Because of the long winter and permanent ice cover, life on the floor of the Central Arctic Ocean is sparser than in temperate oceans, but key characteristics of these benthic communities have not been well characterized. To address this problem, Boetius and colleagues combined data from previous ocean floor surveys with new data, including from 2012, the year of the most severe ice retreat over the Arctic Ocean in recent history.

They found that, as predicted, total biomass fell as depth increased, consistent with a food input for animal life, and the rate of decline with depth was greater than in temperate oceans. Five different community types were identified, which differed in species composition and were dependent on depth, ranging from the shallow waters of the continental shelf, to the increasing depths of the continental slope, to the abyssal plain more than four kilometers deep. As seen in temperate waters, species diversity rose and then fell as depth increased.

In this remote ocean, insufficient data are available to track diversity or biomass changes over time, but the authors hope this study will provide a baseline for answering critical questions in the future about the effects of climate change on vulnerable Arctic waters.
-end-
In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE:http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0200121

Citation: Vedenin A, Gusky M, Gebruk A, Kremenetskaia A, Rybakova E, Boetius A (2018) Spatial distribution of benthic macrofauna in the Central Arctic Ocean. PLoS ONE 13(10): e0200121. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200121

Funding: Funding of this study was provided by the Alfred Wegener Institute (Polar Regions and Coasts in a Changing Earth System = PACES II program, https://www.hzg.de/institutes_platforms/coastal_research/research_topics/paces_2/ index.php.de) and by the European Research Council Advanced Grant 294757 (https://erc.europa.eu/funding/advanced-grants) to Dr. Antje Boetius. This work was partly supported by the Russian Science Foundation Grant 14-50-00095 (http://rscf.ru/en) to Dr. Andrey Vedenin, Russian Foundation for Basic Research Grant 17-05-00787 (http://www.rfbr.ru/rffi/eng) to Dr. Andrey Vedenin, Dr. Elena Rybakova and Antonina Kremenetskaia, and 18-05-60228 (http://www.rfbr.ru/rffi/eng) to Dr. Andrey Gebruk (data analysis). The funders had no role in study design, data collection, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. There was no additional external funding received for this study. The funders had no role in study design, data collection, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

PLOS

Related Biomass Articles from Brightsurf:

Bound for the EU, American-made biomass checks the right boxes
A first-of-its-kind study published in the journal Scientific Reports finds that wood produced in the southeastern United States for the EU's renewable energy needs has a net positive effect on US forests--but that future industry expansion could warrant more research.

The highest heat-resistant plastic ever is developed from biomass
The use of biomass-derived plastics is one of the prime concerns to establish a sustainable society, which is incorporated as one of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Laser technology measures biomass in world's largest trees
Laser technology has been used to measure the volume and biomass of giant Californian redwood trees for the first time, records a new study by UCL researchers.

Inducing plasma in biomass could make biogas easier to produce
Producing biogas from the bacterial breakdown of biomass presents options for a greener energy future, but the complex composition of biomass comes with challenges.

Microbes working together multiply biomass conversion possibilities
Non-edible plants are a promising alternative to crude oil, but their heterogenous composition can be a challenge to producing high yields of useful products.

Evergreen idea turns biomass DNA into degradable materials
A Cornell-led collaboration is turning DNA from organic matter -- such as onions, fish and algae -- into biodegradable gels and plastics.

Upgrading biomass with selective surface-modified catalysts
Loading single platinum atoms on titanium dioxide promotes the conversion of a plant derivative into a potential biofuel.

A novel biofuel system for hydrogen production from biomass
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has presented a new biofuel system that uses lignin found in biomass for the production of hydrogen.

Biomass fuels can significantly mitigate global warming
'Every crop we tested had a very significant mitigation capacity despite being grown on very different soils and under natural climate variability,' says Dr.

Traditional biomass stoves shown to cause lung inflammation
Traditional stoves that burn biomass materials and are not properly ventilated, which are widely used in developing nations where cooking is done indoors, have been shown to significantly increase indoor levels of harmful PM2.5 (miniscule atmospheric particulates) and carbon monoxide (CO) and to stimulate biological processes that cause lung inflammation and may lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Read More: Biomass News and Biomass Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.