Gagaev S. Yu., Denisenko S. G., Strelkova N. A., Frolova E. A., Sikorski A. V. Species composition and biogeographic structure of the polychaete fauna of the Pechora Sea during warming in the Arctic. Marine Biological Journal, 2022, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 23-31. https://doi.org/10.21072/mbj.2022.07.2.02



A comprehensive study of benthos allows not only to see the current changes in benthic communities and better understand what happened to them in the past, but also to predict their future with a certain degree of reliability. Polychaete worms are one of the most numerous and significant groups of benthos, and those can serve as bioindicators of the state of the environment. This article attempts to analyze changes in the biogeographic groups of polychaetes in the Pechora Sea over a relatively long time period (  50 years) in order to understand whether the climate change affects the ratio of these groups and, consequently, whether polychaetes can serve as bioindicators to a certain degree. Based on the analysis of new data and material obtained earlier, a general list of polychaete worms of the Pechora Sea was formed. The list includes 198 taxa (out of them, 186 are identified down to a species level) belonging to 127 genera, 37 families, and 15 orders. The ratio of biogeographic groups of polychaetes in the Pechora Sea indicates the consistency of their biogeographic structure over the past 50 years and confirms the cyclicity of processes occurring in the Arctic.


S. Yu. Gagaev
senior researcher, PhD



S. G. Denisenko
head of the laboratory, leading researcher, D. Sc.



N. A. Strelkova
leading researcher, PhD



E. A. Frolova


A. V. Sikorski
senior advisor, PhD




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This work was carried out within the framework of ZIN RAS state research assignment (No. АААА-А17-117030310207-3) and with RFBR sponsorship (No. 18-05-60157). Financial support was provided by the Research Council of Norway (projects NFR 233635/H30 “Environmental management of petroleum activities in the Barents Sea: Norwegian–Russian collaboration” and NFR 280724 “Environmental monitoring of Arctic coastal ecosystems: Sensitivity to petroleum pollution (Arctic EcoSens)”) and the Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative (“Cryptic polychaete species in Norwegian waters”, knr 49-13, pnr 70184228).



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