MiniGrant List: 2008-2009

Boreoecia maxima

Title: Taxonomy and zoogeography boundaries of pelagic ostracods in Svalbard waters

Kasia Blachowiak
Principal Investigator
Katarzyna Blachowiak-Samolyk

Principal Investigator
Anna Baczewska,

Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Project goals
The project concentrates on summarizing the knowledge on zoogeographical boundaries of pelagic ostracods in Svalbard waters (Barents Sea, Fram Strait, north of Svalbard waters) and providing taxonomical revision of Arctic halocyprids, which are quite abundant but, due to different problems with identification, poorly known and described group of zooplankton.

More than 3600 individuals of pelagic ostracods were identified and their life stages determined from 100 zooplankton samples taken from around Svalbard. The dominant species were Discoconchoecia elegans (48% of total ostracod abundance) and Boroecia maxima (36%). Other species found were Boroecia borealis (12%), Obtusoecia obtusata (4%), and a new species (<1%). The total abundance of planktonic ostracods ranged from <100 to >2000 individuals per square meter. The distribution of B. maxima and B. borealis was positively correlated with water depth and water mass. Salinity appeared to greatly influence the distribution of D. elegans and the new species, whereas the distribution of O. obtusata was mainly structured by temperature. Products of this work include a Master Thesis, a poster presentation at the Ostracod Symposium in Brazil (July/August 2009), a manuscript summarizing the project’s results (submitted Jan. 2010) and a description of the new species (in progress). Additionally, the new information will be included in the comprehensive web based Atlas of Atlantic Planktonic Ostracods.

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