Whereas faunistic knowledge of the Greenland benthos is quite complete on the larger scale, more detailed community studies of the bottom fauna in the numerous Greenlandic fjords are relatively scarce. The benthos of the Disko Fjord on the west coast of Disko Island (West Greenland) was sampled using a van-Veen grab. Benthos communities were distinguished by cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling. The zonation pattern mainly reflects a bathymetrical gradient, but the spatial distribution of the fauna is also influenced by the strong aestival river runoff at the origin of the fjord.
The resemblances between zones in terms of diversity, abundance, biomass, and faunistic composition were related to possible causes in terms of hydrography, sediment heterogeneity, and temporal patterns of ice cover and primary production. Aspects of zoogeography, trophic structure, and reproduction ecology were also considered in the discussion of community distribution and composition.
Materials and methods