Rune Palerud Bj0rn Gulliksen Torleiv Brattegard

Jon-Arne Sneli & Wim Vader \

A checklist of the known marine macro-organisms (larger than ca. 1 mm) in the waters off Svalbard has been compiled based on the data base of species records maintained by Akvaplan-niva, in Tromso, Norway, in collaboration with the Norwegian College of Fisheries at the University of Tromso. Currently accepted species names are cross-referenced to the list of 137 published and unpublished sources. The species list comprises a total of 1708 marine species from 18 phyla. The Crustacea have the greatest species diversity with 467 species, followed by the Mollusca with 252 species and the Annelida with 254 species. 1415 of the species are recorded only in the coastal region of the main cluster of islands in the Svalbard archipelago, 29 are recorded only at Bjornoya, and 264 species are recorded in both parts of the archipelago.

R. Palerud, Akvaplan-niva, Polar Environmental Centre, NO-9296 Tromso, Norway; B. Gulliksen, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromso, N0-9037 Tromso, Norway, and The University Centre in Svalbard, Box 156, N0-9170 Longyearbyen, Norway; T. Brattegard, Dept. of Fishery and Marine Biology, University of Bergen, N0-5020 Bergen, Norway; J.-A. Sneli, Trondheim Biological Station, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway; W. Vader, Tromso Museum, University of Tromso, N0-9037 Tromso, Norway.

Knowledge of individual species and their distributions are fundamental in all ecological investigations. In recent years focus has been put into studies of biodiversity, spurred in part by indications from around the globe of the loss of biodiversity at all taxonomic levels, in ecosystems of various scales (Wall et al. 2001). The year 2001 was proclaimed the International Biodiversity Observation Year by DIVERSITAS, the international programme of biodiversity science (Wall et al. 2001). This species list should be viewed against this background.

This list of species was originally compiled as part of the Norwegian Polar Institute's environmental impact studies which were carried out in Svalbard waters to assess the effects of petroleum activity in Svalbard in the 1980s. Our knowledge of the marine fauna in Svalbard waters has increased considerably since then. In 1994, an initiative from the Ministry of the Environment resulted in a joint venture between several Norwegian researchers to map marine biology in the coastal areas of Svalbard (including Bj0rn0ya) as well as Jan Mayen. Collected information, including species records, was compiled in a data base that is now administrated and regularly updated by Akvaplan-niva, in Troms0, in collaboration with the Norwegian College of Fishery Science at the University of Troms0.

Based on the information in the data base and compilations of earlier published species records, a list of marine benthic macro-organisms in Svalbard and Jan Mayen was published in 1999 by the Directorate for Nature Management (Gulliksen et al. 1999). This report contained records within the latitudes 74° - 81° N and longitudes 10° - 35° E. Species occurring within each of 17 marine zones around Svalbard was presented. Species found in the marine areas on the continental shelf around the island of Jan Mayen were also included.

The present publication is an updated version of the species list for the Svalbard area within the coordinates stated above. It has been calibrated against the European Register of Marine Species (ERMS), a research consortium funded by the European Union under the Marine Science and Technology programme (Costello et al. 2001; http ://erms.biol.soton.ac. uk/).

A total of 1708 marine species (larger than ca. 1 mm) from 18 phyla have been extracted from 137 published and unpublished works. The Crustacea, numbering 467 species, have the greatest species diversity, followed by the Mollusca with 252 species and the Annelida with 254 species (Table 1). Based on data in the checklist, 1415 are recorded only in the coastal region of the main cluster of islands in the Svalbard archipelago, 29 are recorded only at Bj0rn0ya (Bear Island), and 264 species are recorded in both parts of the archipelago. Each species is listed in Section I and cross-referenced to the appropriate papers in Section II (the reference list).

Although the majority of publications concerning the marine invertebrate and fish fauna of Svalbard have been consulted for this checklist, it does not constitute a complete description of the fauna. The reasons for this include: i) the majority of collections have been made on the west coast of Spitsbergen, which is more accessible than other parts of the archipelago; ii) there is likely to be a bias towards species which are more easily collected and identified; iii) concentration on those taxa that have caught the interest of Arctic taxonomists; iv) misidentifications can have occurred; v) confusion resulting from synonyms and inconsistency in reference works; and finally vi) much of the relevant literature consists of unrevised compilations of previous records. The authors would appreciate corrections and additions from readers. A major problem regarding invertebrate taxonomy is the large number of synonyms. Currently accepted names are used in this checklist; synonyms used in the references cited are published in Gulliksen et al. (1999).

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Directorate for Nature Management, the University Centre in Svalbard, the University of Troms0, Akvaplan-niva and the Norwegian Polar Institute. We also thank the anonymous reviewers of this manuscript.

Table 1. A summary of the marine macro-organisms in Svalbard waters.

Phylum

Class

Order

No. of

species

Porifera

Calcera

10

Hexactinellida

4

Demospongiae

132

Cnidaria

Hydrozoa

106

Scyphozoa

7

Anthozoa

42

Ctenophora

Tentaculata

3

Nuda

1

Nemertini

10

Nematoda

5

Kamptozoa (Entoprocta)

4

Priapulida

3

Echiurida

1

Sipunculida

5

Annelida

Polychaeta

253

Oligochaeta

1

Chelicerata

Pycnogonida

25

Crustacea

Ostracoda

48

Copepoda

20

Cirripedia

14

Malacostraca

Leptostraca

1

Mysidacea

16

Cumacea

30

Tanaidacea

7

Amphipoda

270

Isopoda

35

Euphausiacea 4

Decapoda

22

Mollusca

Caudofoveata

3

Solenogastres

2

Polyplacophora

5

Gastropoda

160

Cephalopoda

4

Bivalvia

75

Scaphopoda

3

Brachiopoda

7

Bryozoa

182

Chaetognata

3

Echinodermata

Crinoidea

3

Asteroidea

28

Ophiuroidea

16

Echinoidea

5

Holothuroidea

14

Chordata

Larvacea

3

Ascidiacea

51

Chondrichthyes

5

Osteichthyes

65

Total

1708

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