Assessing the spatial distribution of meiofaunal communities in Krossfjord, Svalbard Archipelago: Foraminifera diversity as a key component

M. Jima, P. R. Jayachandran, J. Rojin, N. Anulakshmi, N. K. Aswathy, S. Bijoy Nandan*, M. Harikrishnan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The study furnishes an insight into the ecology of meiofauna through an elaborate examination of the living Foraminifera in the Krossfjorden system of the Svalbard Archipelago. Samples collected during the Summer Phase Indian Arctic Expeditions of 2017 and 2018 were analyzed to reveal novel insights into the distribution, abundance and species composition of living Foraminifera in this less studied fjord system. The investigation uncovered a rich and diverse meiofaunal community consisting of ten taxonomic groups, among which living Foraminifera emerged as a prominent component. The spatial patterns of Foraminifera distribution were examined, revealing their preferences for specific habitats and environmental conditions within the Krossfjorden system. The Shannon diversity index (H’) indicates good overall diversity of foraminifera in the Krossfjord region, with H’ ranging from 4.49 to 4.891 in 2017 and from 3.885 to 4.984 in 2018. The research discovered noteworthy inequalities in the distribution of Foraminifera species amid inner and outer stations, as inferred by PERMANOVA analysis (p<0.05). The foraminiferan species Nonionellina labradorica was the dominant species in outer, middle and inner zones in the fjord, while species Lobatula lobatula, Quinqueloculina seminulum, Hormosinella sp., and Procerolagena sp. played significant roles in driving the dissimilarity between outer, middle, and inner zones. Environmental factors accounted for a substantial 83.1% of the variations observed in foraminiferan species distribution across four CCA axes. The fluctuations in potential temperature, sand fraction, chlorophyll-a, C:N ratio, organic matter, and salinity have had a noteworthy effect on the distribution of species. These findings underscore the susceptibility of Foraminifera and the broader meiofaunal community to the impacts of environmental variations in this rapidly changing Arctic ecosystem. The outcomes of this research provide a crucial baseline for understanding the ecological dynamics of meiofaunal communities in the Krossfjorden system, contributing to predicting future changes in benthic habitats, including the potential repercussions for meiobenthic productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103153
JournalRegional Studies in Marine Science
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Abundance
  • Arctic region
  • Distribution
  • Environmental factors
  • Sustainable ecosystems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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