Indicator: Benthos diversity, abundance and biomass

Example of organisms that live at the bottom in Svalbard. Photo: Peter Leopold, Norwegian Polar Institute

Benthos diversity, abundance and biomass
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Rationale: Benthos is one of the main components of marine ecosystems. It is stable in time, characterizes local situation, and is able to show the ecosystem dynamics in retrospective. The changes in community structure and composition reflect natural and anthropogenic factors

Theme: Biotic

Component: Benthos

Type of indicator: E, state of the ecosystem

Priority of indicator: e, essential

• Benthos diversity, abundance and biomass (species and total) (MMBI, PINRO, VNIIOkeangeologia, Akvaplan-niva, IMR)
• Megafauna (trawl collections, video and photographs) (IMR, PINRO, IMR, Akvaplan-niva)

Responsible institution:

The baseline map of the Barents Sea mega-benthic communities in 2011, based on fauna similarity (see Jørgensen et al 2014 for methodology, results and discussion) with the northern (green and blue) and southern (yellow and red) region where the black full line is illustrating the “benthic polar front” in 2011. The grey full line is the approximately oceanographic Polar Front. Dotted line: Is partly illustrating a west-east division. Red: South West sub-region (SW) Yellow: Southeast, banks and Svalbard coast (SEW). Green: North West and Svalbard fjords (NW). Blue: North East (NE). Source: Institute of Marine Research