Microphytobenthos of Arctic Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, Norway): biomass and potential primary production along the shore line

J Woelfel, R Schumann, F Peine, A Flohr, A Kruss, J Tegowski, Philippe Blondel, C Wiencke, U Karsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (SciVal)


During summer 2007, Arctic microphytobenthic potential primary production was measured at several stations around the coastline of Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, Norway) at a parts per thousand currency sign5 m water depth and at two stations at five different water depths (5, 10, 15, 20, 30 m). Oxygen planar optode sensor spots were used ex situ to determine oxygen exchange in the overlying water of intact sediment cores under controlled light (ca. 100 mu mol photons m(-2) s(-1)) and temperature (2-4A degrees C) conditions. Patches of microalgae (mainly diatoms) covering sandy sediments at water depths down to 30 m showed high biomass of up to 317 mg chl a m(-2). In spite of increasing water depth, no significant trend in "photoautotrophic active biomass" (chl a, ratio living/dead cells, cell sizes) and, thus, in primary production was measured at both stations. All sites from a parts per thousand currency sign5 to 30 m water depth exhibited variable rates of net production from -19 to +40 mg O-2 m(-2) h(-1) (-168 to +360 mg C m(-2) day(-1)) and gross production of about 2-62 mg O-2 m(-2) h(-1) (17-554 mg C m(-2) day(-1)), which is comparable to other polar as well as temperate regions. No relation between photoautotrophic biomass and gross/net production values was found. Microphytobenthos demonstrated significant rates of primary production that is comparable to pelagic production of Kongsfjorden and, hence, emphasised the importance as C source for the zoobenthos.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1239-1253
Number of pages15
JournalPolar Biology
Issue number9
Early online date21 May 2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2010


  • sediment characteristics
  • biomass and chlorophyll a
  • respiration and production
  • Arctic benthic diatoms


Dive into the research topics of 'Microphytobenthos of Arctic Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, Norway): biomass and potential primary production along the shore line'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this