ISSN 10630740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2014, Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 241–254. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2014.
Original Russian Text © O.S. Lyubina, V.F. Bryazgin, S.V. Raznovskaya, 2014, published in Biologiya Morya.
Gammaridean amphipods (suborder Gam
maridea) are distinguished among other peracarids by
a great diversity of species and genera [27, 28, 45].
They have direct development but have no pelagic lar
vae that can be transported over great distances via
water flow [31, 35]. This allows considering the
amphipods as indicators of changing environmental
conditions in the assessment of the specific, quantita
tive, and zoogeographic changes in the fauna in peri
ods of climatic fluctuations [8, 23, 30, 44].
The Barents Sea as a transition zone between the
North Atlantic and the Arctic is characterized by a
large variety of biotopes  and high rates of change
in the environmental conditions [4, 5, 26]. Periodic
changes of the thermal characteristics of waters in the
Barents Sea are well known [3, 8, 11, 18, 19]; however,
the consequences of these changes, as well as their
possible cyclicity are still being discussed [34, 40, 46].
Over almost 250 years of zoological investigations
of the Barents Sea, starting with the expeditions of
N. Ozeretskovsky, K. Baer, F. Yarzhinsky and many
others (see [1, 37, 41, 42]), the species composition of
Barents Sea organisms, amphipods among them, have
been studied fairly completely . The list compiled
by Bryazgin et al.  contains about 400 items, which
is 150 species more, compared to the figure provided
in an account by Gurjanova . The most extensive
studies of the amphipod fauna were conducted in the
second half of the past century [7–9, 23, 24, 30, 43].
In the last decades, the main attention was paid to the
study of the species composition of amphipods in indi
vidual areas of the Barents Sea, their local quantitative
distribution, life cycles, and population ecology [2, 12,
15, 16, 20]. However, the published data do not allow
studying the dynamics of species diversity and deter
mining the distribution patterns of amphipods in rela
tion to changes in climatic conditions.
The aim of the present work was to study (based on
materials for the 1990s) the specific and zoogeo
graphic composition, as well as the quantitative distri
bution of subtidal amphipods in the southern sector of
the central Barents Sea, which is characterized by the
strongest variations of the main hydrological parame
ters [8, 9, 11, 18, 19] and to compare the obtained data
with the results of previous investigations.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The study area included the southern Barents Sea
from the Rybachiy Peninsula to 46
E and 74
(Table 1). In the western part of the study area, the
depths are chiefly greater than 200 m; silt and sand
substrates are predominant. The bottom relief rises to
100–150 m and the role of coarse fragment fractions
increases closer to the coasts of the Kola Peninsula
[14, 22, 33]. The southeastern part is characterized by
smaller depths and mixed substrates .
The hydrological regime of most of the studied area
is influenced by the warm Atlantic Current. The
warmest coastal branch of the Murmansk Current
flows along the entire Kola Peninsula . Cold
waters of the Central Basin occur only in the north
The Composition and Distribution of Benthic Amphipods
(Crustacea: Amphipoda) in the Southern Barents Sea
O. S. Lyubina
, V. F. Bryazgin
, and S. V. Raznovskaya
Murmansk Marine Biological Institute, Kola Science Center, Russian Academy of Sciences,
ul. Vladimirskaya 17, Murmansk, 183010 Russia
Petrozavodsk State University, pr. Lenina 33, Petrozavodsk, 185910 Russia
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Received February 6, 2014
—The composition and distribution of nearbottom amphipods in the southern part of the central
Barents Sea were studied based on quantitative materials collected by expeditions of the Murmansk Marine
Biological Institute in 1996–1997. A total of 144 amphipod species (on average 13 ± 1 species per station)
were found; the average biomass was 0.49 ± 0.07 g/m
, average abundance 106 ± 15 specimens/m
Arctic (46%), Arctic (17%), and boreal (21%) species were predominant among the amphipod fauna. The
present results were compared with the data for 1968–1970.
amphipods, peracarids, Barents Sea, quantitative distribution, zoogeography