Biodiversity of kelp forests and coralline algae habitats in southwestern Greenland

Schoenrock, K. M., Vad, J., Muth, A., Pearce, D. M., Rea, B. R., Schofield, J. E. and Kamenos, N. A. (2018) Biodiversity of kelp forests and coralline algae habitats in southwestern Greenland. Diversity, 10(4), 117. (doi: 10.3390/d10040117)

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All marine communities in Greenland are experiencing rapid environmental change, and to understand the effects on those structured by seaweeds, baseline records are vital. The kelp and coralline algae habitats along Greenland’s coastlines are rarely studied, and we fill this knowledge gap for the area around Nuuk, west Greenland. Using subtidal swath surveys, photo-quadrats, and grab samples, we characterised the diversity of floral and faunal assemblages in kelp forests and coralline algae beds. The most abundant herbivore assemblages and the most diverse communities occur in the interstitial habitats of rhodolith beds. In kelp forests, species diversity is higher in epi-benthic (photo-quadrat) and mid-water (swath) surveys. These habitats are not mutually exclusive; Agarum clathratum is prominent in coralline algal habitats, while crustose coralline algae cover the bedrock under kelp holdfasts. Overall, the suite of surveys used capture the diverse communities within kelp forests and coralline algae in Greenland and their differing role in the life history of the inhabitants. Furthermore, coralline algae beds are an important carbonate store, with CaCO3 concentrations ranging from 28.06 to 103.73 g·m−3. Our research sets the baseline for continued investigations and monitoring of these important habitats and their supported fisheries.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding for this research was provided by a small grant from the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) and the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (SAGES) “PECRE exchanges with Europe, North America, China, and India”. The Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant 2014-093 “Calving Glaciers: Long Term Validation and Evidence” funded field research activities and KMS at the University of Glasgow. JV was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil & Gas, received through Herriot-Watt University (James Watt Scholarship Scheme) and the British Geological Survey (British University Funding Initiative Scheme). JV would also like to acknowledge further support from Oil and Gas UK. AM was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency STAR Fellowship.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamenos, Professor Nick and Schoenrock, Dr Kathryn
Authors: Schoenrock, K. M., Vad, J., Muth, A., Pearce, D. M., Rea, B. R., Schofield, J. E., and Kamenos, N. A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Diversity
ISSN (Online):1424-2818
Published Online:25 October 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Diversity 10(4): 117
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
641771Calving Glaciers: Long-term Validation and Evidence (CALVE)Nicholas KamenosLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)N/ASCHOOL OF GEOGRAPHICAL & EARTH SCIENCES