MiniGrant List: 2008-2009


Title: A biotic inventory of free-living arctic marine nematodes

Jyotsna Sharma Principal Investigator
Jyotsna Sharma-Srinivasan,
University of Texas at San Antonio, USA,

Project goals
A checklist of Arctic free-living marine nematodes will be compiled from existing literature. An inventory of nematodes from existing benthic collections in the US and Canada will be conducted and new species described when suitable specimens are available.

Nematodes were examined from 22 benthic macrofauna  box core samples (>250 μm) from the Arctic deep sea covering a depth range of 640-3848 m and a geographic area from the Chukchi Cap in the west to Amundsen Gulf in the east.  The samples comprised a total of 25 families and 84 genera.  Abundances ranged from 0-6800 ind m-2 with considerably higher abundances at the Chukchi Sea slope and in Amundsen Gulf than in the Canada Basin and at Chukchi Borderland stations. The Comesomatidae was the dominant family, followed by the Oncholaimidae.  The dominant genus was Sabatieria followed by Viscosia. Overall, taxonomic composition differed from meiofaunal studies (≥63 µ to 1mm) by the common occurrence of the Oncholaimidae, Leptosomatidae, Phanodermatidae and Thoracostomopsidae. The difference is attributed to the large size of these nematodes related to the recovery from macrofauna samples. Data from this work were included in two manuscripts currently in revision in the journals PLoSone and Marine Biodiversity and were presented at the 2010 Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsoe, Norway.

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