Biodiv Sci ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (5): 527-536.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.10092

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Species diversity of phytoplankton communities in the Western Arctic Ocean during summer 2010

Gengming Lin*, Yu Wang, Qingliang Yang   

  1. Third Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Xiamen, Fujian 361005
  • Received:2013-04-10 Accepted:2013-08-07 Online:2013-09-20 Published:2013-10-08
  • Contact: Lin Gengming


Phytoplankton assemblages in the Arctic Ocean, particularly in the Western Arctic Ocean, remain unclear due to limited long-term ecological investigation caused by the existing harsh environment. In the present study, we characterized summer phytoplankton assemblages in surface water in terms of species composition and spatial distribution in the Western Arctic Ocean in 2010. Phytoplankton samples were collected at 50 stations in the survey area (67.0o-86.1o N, 152.5 o-169.0 o W) from 20 July to 30 August 2010 during the CHINARE 2010 cruise aboard the Chinese icebreaker R/V “Xuelong”. Results showed that high species diversity was present in the surface water phytoplankton community. A total of 154 phytoplankton taxa (>5 μm) distributed among 67 genera of 10 phyla (or class) were identified in the study, which could be divided into four ecological groups, namely Arctic species, Arctic-boreal species, Warm-temperate species and Cosmopolitan species. Phytoplankton diversity exhibited a significant spatial difference with regard to taxonomic composition and abundance during the investigation period. Two phytoplankton assemblages were present in the surface water comprising a shelf community and an open sea community. Average abundance and species richness of the shelf community were 892.6×102 cells/dm3 and 1.81, respectively, and the dominant species were Navicula pelagica, Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii, Chaetoceros diadema, Pseudo-nitzschia seriata, Leptocylindrus danicus, Nitzschia longissima and N. grunowii. A succession from pennate to centric diatoms was evident. The open sea community contained a far lower abundance and species richness (27.7×102 cells/dm3 and 1.28) than the community in the abysmal area and was mainly dominated by Thalassionema nitzschioides. The relationship between the distribution of surface water phytoplankton and several environmental factors were discussed.

Key words: surface water phytoplankton, species diversity, distribution, species succession, Western Arctic Ocean, the arctic ecosystem