ISSN 10630740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2010, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 75–85. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2010.
Original Russian Text © L.V. Pavlova, Yu.A. Zuyev, 2010, published in Biologiya Morya.
Echinoderms play a relevant part in the ecosystems
of seas. In some areas of the Barents Sea, some species
of this group contribute significantly to the biomass of
the benthos . The fauna and patterns of distribu
tion of echinoderms in coastal areas are poorly stud
ied, as benthic surveys for decades were carried out
mostly in the open part of the sea. Study of bottom
population of shoals of bights and bays was of a casual
and of local character.
The largest fjord of the Kola Peninsula, the Kola
Bay, is not an exception. The only rather detailed
research of species richness of benthos, including
echinoderms, was conducted in that bay by Deryugin
, in 1908. About 100 years ago, the fauna of the
Echinodermata was more diverse; the sublittoral was
inhabited by species of five classes of that phylum.
Some species, for example, the brittle stars
(Retzius, 1805), sea
Fabricius, 1780, occurred
in shallow water areas of the bay in significant num
The article was translated by the authors.
In later years, research related to the study of qual
itative and quantitative structures of echinoderms and
other benthos in Kola Bay was irregular and included
a small number of stations [3, 9–11, 31, 32]. Since
1980, the benthos sampling was performed by instru
ments that were not applicable to hard bottoms and
did not capture the large and rare echinoderms. For
this reason the results of surveys seemed to show a sig
nificant depletion of the fauna of the Echinodermata.
Since the beginning of the 2000s greater attention has
been paid to research of the coastal ecosystems of the
Barents Sea. Thus, new data on the distribution of sea
urchins in the northern bend of Kola Bay were
obtained . Nevertheless, concepts concerning the
qualitative and quantitative structures of the bottom
fauna of this bay still remain fragmentary and incom
The purpose of our research is a corroboration of
the species structure and analysis of the quantitative
distribution of echinoderms in the upper sublittoral of
Kola Bay relative to abiotic environmental factors.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Material was collected from shoals of Kola Bay
from depth of 0–30 m in four equidistant areas located
along the west cost in the southern and middle bends
Species Composition and Distribution of Echinoderms
(Echinodermata) in the Upper Subtidal Zone of Kola Bay,
L. V. Pavlova
and Yu. A. Zuyev
Murmansk Marine Biological Institute, Kola Scientific Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences, Murmansk, 183010 Russia
Russian State Hydrometeorological University, St. Petersburg, 195196 Russia
Received November 19, 2009
—The species composition and patterns of distribution of echinoderms from the upper sublittoral
zone to depth of 30 m in the southern and middle of Kola Bay in the Barents Sea were studied. In total, five
species of starfishes, four species of brittle stars, three species of sea urchins and one species of holothurians
were recorded. From the beginning of 20th century, under the impact of climate change and anthropogenic
effect, the number of echinoderm species in the surveyed area decreased by two times, and the fauna has a
more boreal character against the background of the domination of boreal–arctic species. The occurrence,
population density and biomass of echinoderms, especially of common species, were several times less in the
middle bend of the bay than in the southern one. The causes of this phenomenon have been discussed. The
quantitative data (frequency of occurrence, number and biomass) for most of the species of echinoderms liv
ing in Kola Bay are given for the first time.
Echinodermata, fauna, distribution, sublittoral, Kola Bay, Barents Sea.