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Abstract

The species diversity of the Bryozoa in Kongsfjorden was determined based on quantitative, depth-stratified (0-30 m) samples collected by SCUBA divers (1996, 1998). One hundred and one species and 16 varieties of the three orders Cyclostomata, Ctenostomata and Cheilostomata - are reported from Kongsfjorden. Ten species are presumably new. The bryozoan fauna of Svalbard is mainly represented by Arctic and boreal-Arctic species and varieties. The few amphiboreal and subtropical-boreal species found most likely reach their northern limit of distribution near Spitsbergen. The distribution of the Bryozoa within Kongsfjorden was determined by depth and location sampled. The number of taxa increased, generally, with depth and distance from tidal glaciers located in the inner fjord. Relative decreases in species number occurred at 15-20 m depth in the middle to outer fjord. This is most likely explained by a change of water mass properties, i.e. a transition from the surface water layer to deeper marine water.
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