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Open AccessArticle

Biodiversity of Kelp Forests and Coralline Algae Habitats in Southwestern Greenland

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School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, Gregory Building, Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
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Botany and Plant Science, National University of Ireland Galway, Ryan Institute, University Rd., H91 TK33 Galway, Ireland
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School of Engineering, Geosciences, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
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School of Geosciences, Grant Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH28 8, UK
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Marine Science Institute, The University of Texas at Austin, College of Natural Sciences, 750 Channel View Drive, Port Aransas, TX 78373-5015, USA
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Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, UK
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Geography & Environment, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Elphinstone Road, Aberdeen AB24 3UF, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2018, 10(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10040117
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 21 October 2018 / Accepted: 22 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
All marine communities in Greenland are experiencing rapid environmental change, and to understand the effects on those structured by seaweeds, baseline records are vital. The kelp and coralline algae habitats along Greenland’s coastlines are rarely studied, and we fill this knowledge gap for the area around Nuuk, west Greenland. Using subtidal swath surveys, photo-quadrats, and grab samples, we characterised the diversity of floral and faunal assemblages in kelp forests and coralline algae beds. The most abundant herbivore assemblages and the most diverse communities occur in the interstitial habitats of rhodolith beds. In kelp forests, species diversity is higher in epi-benthic (photo-quadrat) and mid-water (swath) surveys. These habitats are not mutually exclusive; Agarum clathratum is prominent in coralline algal habitats, while crustose coralline algae cover the bedrock under kelp holdfasts. Overall, the suite of surveys used capture the diverse communities within kelp forests and coralline algae in Greenland and their differing role in the life history of the inhabitants. Furthermore, coralline algae beds are an important carbonate store, with CaCO3 concentrations ranging from 28.06 to 103.73 g·m−3. Our research sets the baseline for continued investigations and monitoring of these important habitats and their supported fisheries. View Full-Text
Keywords: arctic; carbon sink; rhodolith beds; marine assemblages; climate change; Saccharina longicruris; ecosystem engineer; ecology; fisheries; food-web arctic; carbon sink; rhodolith beds; marine assemblages; climate change; Saccharina longicruris; ecosystem engineer; ecology; fisheries; food-web
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Schoenrock, K.M.; Vad, J.; Muth, A.; Pearce, D.M.; Rea, B.R.; Schofield, J.E.; Kamenos, N.A. Biodiversity of Kelp Forests and Coralline Algae Habitats in Southwestern Greenland. Diversity 2018, 10, 117.

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