Protective role of carbon sequestration by free living nematodes in Arctic Kongsfjord (intermediate zone), Svalbard in the emerging climate change scenario
The proportion of blue carbon contribution by benthic fauna with regard to climate change issue is a relevant topic recent times. The present study is focusing on the carbon potential and blue carbon contribution of meiobenthic nematodes in the intermediate zone of Arctic Kongsfjord during 2015–2017 and the study is the first of its kind from this region. Foraminifera and Nematoda were the dominant fauna in 2015; whereas it was Foraminifera in 2016 and Tintinnida and Nematoda in 2017. Significant difference was noticed in the community structure of meiofauna in this three consecutive years. Twenty six nematodes were identified from the intermediate zone and their individual carbon potential and total blue carbon during the above-mentioned period is estimated. Parasphaerolaimus paradoxus (7.14 $\pm$ 0.05 $\mu$g/mg) recorded the highest carbon potential and the lowest value was recorded in Terschellingia longicaudata (0.11 $\pm$ 0.3 $\mu$g/mg). The sediment factors such as sediment granulometric composition, salinity, pH, Eh and total organic carbon (TOC) were the leading factors influencing the meiofaunal distribution as well as the distribution of nematodes based on carbon potential in the intermediate zone. Investigation of blue carbon deposition by nematodes turned out to be relevant in mitigating the climatic change as the fjord has a tranquil nature.
Volume 131, 2022
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