Seasonal and spatial changes in the zooplankton community of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard

  • Wojciech Walkusz
  • Slawek Kwasniewski
  • Stig Falk-Petersen
  • Haakon Hop
  • Vigdis Tverberg
  • Piotr Wieczorek
  • Jan Marcin Weslawski


Seasonal changes in the zooplankton composition of the glacially influenced Kongsfjorden, Svalbard (79°N, 12°E), and its adjacent shelf were studied in 2002. Samples were collected in the spring, summer and autumn in stratified hauls (according to hydrographic characteristics), by means of a 0.180-mm Multi Plankton Sampler. A strong front between the open sea and the fjord waters was observed during the spring, preventing water mass exchange, but was not observed later in the season. The considerable seasonal changes in zooplankton abundance were related to the seasonal variation in hydrographical regime. The total zooplankton abundance during the spring (40–2010 individuals m-3) was much lower than in the summer and autumn (410– 10 560 individuals m-3). The main factors shaping the zooplankton community in the fjord include: the presence of a local front, advection, the flow pattern and the decreasing depth of the basin in the inner fjord. Presumably these factors regulate the gross pattern of zooplankton density and distribution, and override the importance of biological processes. This study increased our understanding of seasonal processes in fjords, particularly with regard to the strong seasonal variability in the Arctic.


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How to Cite
Walkusz W., Kwasniewski S., Falk-Petersen S., Hop H., Tverberg V., Wieczorek P., & Weslawski J. M. (2009). Seasonal and spatial changes in the zooplankton community of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Polar Research, 28(2), 254-281.
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