Ornithological surveys conducted over the Pechora Sea (the southeastern part of the Barents Sea) in the 1990 s revealed huge non-nesting flocks of marine ducks, the largest in the European North. Especially dense waterfowl aggregations are constantly observed at the shallows near Dolgij Island during molting period and migration to wintering places. All the marine ducks flocking there are specialized benthos feeders predominantly consuming mussels Mytilus edulis. At the same time, numerous previous benthic studies in the Pechora Sea did not reveal mussels near Dolgij Island where benthic biomass was somewhat lower than in the adjacent areas (Denisenko in Mar Ecol Prog Ser 258:109-123. 2003) which left the food source for these abundant bird flocks enigmatic. In the course of an expedition in summer 2007 we found subtidal populations of M. edulis in shallows to the southwest of Dolgij Island. These populations were confined to a coastal zone and were characterized by a highly disjunct distribution with the biomass reaching up to 4 kg m-2. We describe these subtidal populations as well as an intertidal mussel population on the western shore of Dolgij Island.
Предметные области Scopus
- Земледелие и биологические науки (все)