The published data, as well as the authors’ own data, on the distribution, composition, biomass, production, and lifecycles of zooplankton organisms in the areas of potential formation of Arctic polynyas, are discussed in this article. In many cases, there is a lack of materials for the periods when polynyas actually exist (e.g., winter or early spring); thus, the available data for the summer and fall seasons are analyzed. The copepods Oithona similis, Calanus hyperboreus, C. glacialis, C. finmarchicus, Metridia longa, Triconia borealis, Pseudocalanus spp., and Microcalanus pygmaeus dominate the most of the areas in terms of abundance and biomass. Some specific estuarine communities that are dominated by Limnocalanus macrurus, Pseudocalanus major, and Drepanopus bungei are formed in waters that are intensely freshened by river runoff. Common species develop in polynyas faster than in adjacent waters that are covered by ice. In the summer the mean total zooplankton biomass in the areas of polynyas varies from 0.3 (Barrow Strait) to 9.3 gC/m2 (Lena Polynya). The maximum values of zooplankton secondary production are typical for coastal and estuarine zones. The mean daily zooplankton production during the summer season rarely exceeds 50 mgC/(m2 day).
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2015
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