Seasonality in an Arctic fjord ecosystem: Hornsund, Spitsbergen
AbstractBased on two complete years of marine ecological surveys (1981-82 and 1984-85) carried out in the Hornsund fjord on southern Spitsbergen (77N), the seasonal variation of physical and biological processes is presented. Physical parameters reflect the strong seasonality of sun radiation, while water salinity and temperature fluctuate within a narrow range. Concentrations of nutrients and suspended matter depend on meltwater discharge from glaciers and snow cover thickness. The breeding period of most marine invertebrate species is strongly related to the phytoplankton bloom which peaks in May. Ringed seal and polar bear occurrences are directly related to sea ice conditions. Both species are most numerous in Hornsund during March-April. Sea birds which nest in huge colonies along the Hornsund coasts arrive in April-May and leave by August-September except for Fulmars and Brünnich's Guillemots which were observed year-round.
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