Modélisation des communautés benthiques dans la région marine du Kitikmeot, Archipel Canadien

Authors: Dumais, Philippe-Olivier
Advisor: Archambault, Philippe; Bluhm, Bodil
Abstract: The impacts of climate change in the Arctic are increasingly present and affect marine ecosystems. In addition, the associated sea ice melt opens up new shipping routes such as the Northwest Passage in the Kitikmeot marine region. These growing issues raise concerns about the state of benthic organisms living in this region where few studies have been carried out. Benthic invertebrates are essential in nutrient recycling, oxygenation and de composition in sediments and are very good indicators of change. The objective of this project is to exploreand assess the influential environmental parameters and model benthic species assemblage distributions in the Kitikmeot region and Parry Channel in the Canadian Arctic. For this, a number of samples from an Agassiz trawl (epifauna) and a box corer (infauna) were collected on board the CCGS Amundsen between 2010 and 2018. In addition, 19 environmental variables were considered for the statistical analyses. It was observed that infauna is dominated by annelids (mainly polychaetes) and epifauna by arthropods. The results also show that the different types of benthic communities succeed one another, thus forming a transition zone (ecotone) between the Beaufort Sea and Baffin Bay. Waters originating from the Pacific Ocean have a major influence on the distribution and composition of communities, as do freshwater inputs from land. These are two parameters whose volumes are currently increasing in the Arctic, which suggests significant changes in the distributionof communities in the central Canadian Archipel ago for years to come. Moreover, two other significant factors explaining the taxonomic composition are the depth and the pigment concentrations associated with local primary production. This study also demonstrated that depth, oxygen and N/P ratio are the parameters having the most influence on the number of taxa found. Moreover, it is the first time the distribution of benthic diversity is modeled inthe Canadian Archipelago. The models developed here can be used by decision makers forspatial marine management purposes.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2021
Open Access Date: 1 March 2021
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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