Sergienko, Luydmila Yu. Habitat types of the coasts of the White and Barents (Murmansk coast) Seas

Sergienko L. A., Minaeva T.
Arctic coastal ecosystems of the White and Barents Seas (Murmansk coasts) are vulnerable both to climate change and active industrial development. According to classical ecology, under the habitat the type of geographic space with a composition of physical and chemical parameters and (or) biotic characteristics, there are one species, one biocoenoses or complex of biocoenoses are present. The habitat classes are identified with consideration of three main abiotic factors: salinity, substrate, position against the tide. For broader characteristics the other variables had been used – vegetation, level of drainage, more detailed geomorphology, structure of soils, marsh type classification etc. Basing on the matrix analysis there were designated 20 types of habitats (with some variations): Salt marsh complex on the primary soils: Low salt marshes, middle salt marshes, high salt marshes on the mud and mud –clayey substrate. Brackish marshes complex on the structured soils: low, middle, high brackish marshes on the mud – clayey substrate. Freshwater complex on the weak structured soils: middle freshwater communities on the mud substrate. Freshwater complex on the structured soils: high freshwater marshes on the mud and mud-clay substrate. Beaches, bars and spits on the sand and gravel coasts: salt (low, middle and high), brackish (low, middle and high), freshwater (middle and high) marshes on the sand and pebble-shingle substrate. Coastal tundra, complex of rocky, solifluction and abrasion coasts: cliffs and benches. Marine littoral complex of mycrophytes and seagrasses (Zostera marina) in the subtidal and low intertidal zone: submersed habitats – upper part of sublitoral - mycrophyte zone, submersed habitats with seagrasses. For each type of habitat the detailed characteristics, include the main vegetation associations, dominant species, distinguishing species and the species of successional stages have been provided.

Last modified: September 10, 2015