The Benthos of Soft Sea-bottom in Arctic North America

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QUANTITATIVE surveys of the benthos of soft sea-bottom were made in Baffin Island, N.W.T., during 1954 and 1955, in Greenland during 1956, and in Foxe Basin, N.W.T., during 1957, as part of expeditions organized by the Arctic Institute of North America and the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. These surveys, and others made previously in Greenland, show that Macoma calcarea communities1 with standing crops generally greater than 200 gm./m.2 (fresh weight) occur in shallow water to about 50 m. depth in many localities in arctic North America. Other communities, some with very small crops, also occur in shallow water under localized, special conditions. They are the Venus fluctuosa, Portlandia arctica and Chiridothea sabini communities. The soft-bottom benthos in water deeper than about 50 m. forms at least two communities, the Fora-minifera and Arca-Astarte crenata communities, with standing crops generally less than 100 gm./m2.

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  1. 1

    Thorson, G., in “Treatise of Marine Ecology and Paleoecology”, 1, Chapter 17, p. 461 (Geol. Soc. Amer., Mem. 67, 1957).

  2. 2

    Ekman, S., “Zoogeography of the Sea” (1953).

  3. 3

    Dunbar, M. J., Fish. Res. Bd. Canad., Bull., 88 (1951).

  4. 4

    Ellis D. V., “Marine Infaunal Benthos in Arctic North America”, Ph.D. thesis, McGill University, Montreal (1957).

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ELLIS, D. The Benthos of Soft Sea-bottom in Arctic North America. Nature 184, BA79–BA80 (1959) doi:10.1038/184079a0b

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