1063-0740/02/2801- $27.00 © 2002
Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2002, pp. 1–6.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2002 by Biologiya Morya, Vasilenko.
Many studies have shown that the interlayer of
warm Atlantic waters with positive temperatures
between surface and deep Arctic waters is widespread
throughout the Arctic basin [12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 29].
Biological indicators (planktonic, pelagic and benthic
organisms) are important for studying the hydrological
regime of the seas and oceans. They can point to spe-
ciﬁc temperatures and salinities, as well as reﬂect the
direction of currents, seasonal hydrological regime, and
annual climate changes.
Planktonic and benthic organisms differ substan-
tially as biological indicators. For short-term or sea-
sonal variations in hydrological conditions, plankton
changes more rapidly in composition and numbers.
Benthic organisms have a more conservative distribu-
tion and are connected with the average long-term dis-
tribution of hydrological parameters .
Biological indicators are of particular importance in
the study of currents, their origin, distribution, and
hydrological characteristics. The study of the distribu-
tion of plankton in the mouth of the White Sea per-
formed by Virketis  is one of the ﬁrst successful
studies in this ﬁeld. Species of Atlantic origin have
been recorded from the Kara Sea by various authors [5–
Some planktonic and pelagic Atlantic species mark
intermediate Atlantic waters in speciﬁc areas of the
Arctic Ocean [16, 23].
In the Chukchi Sea, biological indicators reﬂect par-
ticularly sharply the course of Paciﬁc waters penetrat-
ing into the sea through the Bering Strait [13, 19, 20].
Cumacea (Malacostraca, Crustacea) are predomi-
nantly marine crustaceans and almost regular compo-
nents of soft bottom communities. More than 60 spe-
cies of cumaceans belonging to 12 genera and 5 fami-
lies [2, 11] occur in the Arctic seas and Arctic basin. It
was shown that variations in the physicochemical con-
ditions (temperature, salinity, depth) affect the species
compostion of Cumacea in different areas of the Arctic
Ocean, and some of cumaceans can provide indicators
of waters of different origin [2, 32].
The aim of the present research is to reveal indicator
species of Atlantic intermediate waters among
cumaceans, to determine their location, and thus to
show where Atlantic intermediate waters reach to the
bottom of the continental slope in the Arctic Ocean.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The continental slope of the Arctic Ocean has been
poorly studied because this region is difﬁcult of access
because of its severe ice regime. Expeditions in the last
decade have greatly extended the knowledge of the
continental slope fauna of the Arctic Ocean. Unique
deep-water material (more than 80 samples) was col-
lected in trenches of the northeastern Greenland shelf,
to the north, west, and east of northern Spitsbergen, in
trenches of the Kara Sea, and in the northern parts of
the Laptev and East Siberian Seas. In this study, we
used the materials collected on expeditions with the
in 1991, 1993, and 1995. In addition,
Cumacea from the collection of the Zoological Insti-
Cumaceans as Indicators of Atlantic Waters over the Continental
Slope of the Arctic Ocean
S. V. Vasilenko
Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, 199034 Russia
Received July 2, 2001
—The material on cumacean fauna of the continental slope of the Arctic Ocean (more than 80 sam-
ples) was collected during expeditions with the ships
in 1925, 1928, and 1936;
in 1936; and
in 1990, 1993, and 1995. Examination of the samples (150–900 m depth) revealed 19 species of
Cumacea in this region. Three Arcto-Atlantic bathyal species (
Hemilamprops uniplicatus, Diastylis echinata,
) are markers of the places over the continental slope where Atlantic intermediate waters
penetrate into the Arctic Ocean and reach to the bottom. These species are widespread in the North Atlantic
(100 to 2882 m depth); on the continental slope of the Arctic Ocean, they occur in a narrow depth range (200
to 900 m) in areas where positive temperatures from 0.09 to 1.78
C and high salinity of 34.75 to 34.87‰ pre-
vail. The locations of these species is delineated on maps as an interrupted belt extending from northeastern
Greenland to the East Siberian Sea and further north up to 79
N and 148
E, which corresponds to the route
of penetration of Atlantic intermediate waters into the Arctic Ocean.
Cumaceans, indicator species, Arctic Ocean, Atlantic intermediate waters.