Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 28 Issue 03

View Issue TOC
Volume 28, No. 3
Pages 146 - 157


Assessing Bioresources and Standing Stock of Zoobenthos (Key Species, High Taxa, Trophic Groups) in the Chukchi Sea

By Stanislav G. Denisenko , Jacqueline M. Grebmeier , and Lee W. Cooper 
Jump to
Article Abstract Citation References Copyright & Usage
Article Abstract

We describe total standing stock and spatial biomass distribution of the key macrofaunal species, as well as the main taxonomic and trophic groups of zoobenthos, in the Chukchi Sea based on data collected over the period 1986–2012. The dominant species, ranked by biomass, are the bivalves Macoma calcarea, Ennucula tenuis, Astarte borealis, Nuculana radiata, and Yoldia hyperborea; the sipunculid, Golfingia margaritacea; the polychaete Maldane sarsi; and the sea cucumber Psolus peroni. We discuss the influence of bottom sediments and water masses on zoobenthos bioresources and standing stock and present a hypothesis for the mechanism that facilitates the phenomenon of very high benthic biomass in the southern Chukchi Sea. The relationship between biomass of filter feeders and deposit feeders indicates that the Chukchi Sea should be classified as a eutrophic marine system.


Denisenko, S.G., J.M. Grebmeier, and L.W. Cooper. 2015. Assessing bioresources and standing stock of zoobenthos (key species, high taxa, trophic groups) in the Chukchi Sea. Oceanography 28(3):146–157, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2015.63.


Anonymous. 1985. Atlas of the Arctic. Glavnoe upravlenie po geodezii i kartografii, Moscow, 204 pp. [in Russian]

Bigon, M., C.R. Townsend, and J.L. Harper. 2006. Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems, 4th ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 752 pp.

Blanchard, A.L., and H.M. Feder. 2014. Interactions of habitat complexity and environmental characteristics with macrobenthic community structure at multiple spatial scales in the northeastern Chukchi Sea. Deep Sea Research Part II 102:132–143, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.09.022.

Blanchard, A.L., C.L. Parris, A.L. Knowlton, and N.R. Wade. 2013a. Benthic ecology of the northeastern Chukchi Sea: Part I. Environmental characteristics and macrofaunal community structure, 2008–2010. Continental Shelf Research 67:52–66, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2013.04.021.

Blanchard, A.L., C.L. Parris, A.L. Knowlton, and N.R. Wade. 2013b. Benthic ecology of the northeastern Chukchi Sea: Part II. Spatial variation of megafaunal community structure, 2009–2010. Continental Shelf Research 67:67–76, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2013.04.031.

Blokhin, S.A., and V.A. Pavluchkov. 1996. Foraging of grey whales in shallows off the Chukchi Peninsula in summer/autumn 1980. Transactions of the Pacific Fishery Research Centre 121:25–26. [in Russian]

Bowers, N.L., H.U. Gerber, J.C. Hickman, D.A. Jones, and C.J. Nesbitt. 1997. Actuarial Mathematics, 2nd ed. Society of Actuaries, Schaumburg, Illinois, 753 pp.

Brey, T. 2001. Population Dynamics in Benthic Invertebrates: A Virtual Handbook. Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany, http://www.thomas-brey.de/science/virtualhandbook/navlog/index.html.

Clarke, K.R, and R.M. Warwick. 2001. Change in Marine Communities: An Approach to Statistical Analysis and Interpolation, 2nd ed. PRIMER-E, Plymouth, UK, 168 pp. 

Codispoti, L.A., V. Kelly, A. Thessen, P. Patrai, S. Suttles, V. Hill, M. Steele, and B. Light. 2013. Synthesis of primary production in the Arctic Ocean: Part III. Nitrate and phosphate based estimates of net community production. Progress in Oceanography 110:126–150, https://doi.org/​10.1016/j.pocean.2012.11.006.

Cooper, L.W., I.L. Larsen, J.M. Grebmeier, and S.B. Moran. 2005. Detection of rapid deposition of sea ice-rafted material to the Arctic Ocean benthos using the cosmogenic tracer 7Be. Deep Sea Research Part II 52:3,452–3,461, https://doi.org/​10.1016/j.dsr2.2005.10.011

Denisenko, S.G. 1997. Growth and life span of the commercial cockles in the southeastern Barents Sea. Pp. 36–37 in Non-Traditional Fishery Objects and Perspectives of Their Commercial Use. Abstracts of theoretical and practical conference, Murmansk. [in Russian]

Denisenko, S.G. 2002. Zoobenthos and ice distribution in the Arctic seas. Proceedings of the Zoological Institute 296:39–46.

Denisenko, S.G. 2004. Structurally-functional characteristics of the Barents Sea zoobenthos. Proceedings of the Zoological Institute 300:43–52.

Denisenko, S.G. 2006. Multiannual fluctuation of zoobenthos in the Pechora Sea. Transactions of the Russian Geographical Society 138:37–48. [in Russian]

Denisenko, S.G. 2007. Barents Sea zoobenthos in conditions of changing climate and anthropogenic impact. Pp. 418–511 in Dynamics of Marine Ecosystems and Modern Problems of Conservation of Biological Resources of the Russian Seas. V. Tarasov, ed., Dalnauka, Vladivostok. [in Russian]

Denisenko, S.G. 2013. Biodiversity and Bioresouces of Macrozoobenthos in the Barents Sea. Nauka, St. Petersburg, 284 pp. [in Russian]

Feder, H.M., S.C. Jewett, and A. Blanchard. 2005. Southeastern Chukchi Sea (Alaska) epibenthos. Polar Biology 28:402–421, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-004-0683-4.

Feder, H.M., S.C. Jewett, and A. Blanchard. 2007. Southeastern Chukchi Sea (Alaska) macrobenthos. Polar Biology 30:261–275, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-006-0180-z

Gerasimova, A.V., and N.V. Maximovich. 2000. Analysis of long-term structural characteristics in the settlements of bivalve molluscs (White Sea area). Proceedings of the Saint-Petersburg University Series 3, 2(11):24–27. [in Russian]

Gorshkova, T.I. 1975. Organic matter in modern shelf deposits of the northern seas of the USSR. Pp. 66–72 in Problems of Shelf Geology. Nauka, Moscow. [in Russian]

Grebmeier, J.M. 1993. Studies of pelagic-benthic coupling extended onto the Soviet continental shelf in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas. Continental Shelf Research 13:653–658, https://doi.org/10.1016/0278-4343(93)90098-I.

Grebmeier, J.M. 2012. Shifting patterns of life in the Pacific Arctic and sub-Arctic seas. Annual Review of Marine Science 4:63–78, https://doi.org/​10.1146/annurev-marine-120710-100926.

Grebmeier, J.M., B.A. Bluhm, L.W. Cooper, S.L. Danielson, K.R. Arrigo, A.L. Blanchard, J.T. Clarke, R.H. Day, K.E. Frey, R.R. Gradinger, and others. 2015a. Ecosystem characteristics and processes facilitating persistent macrobenthic biomass hotspots and associated benthivory in the Pacific Arctic. Progress in Oceanography 136:92–114, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2015.05.006.

Grebmeier, J.M., B.A. Bluhm, L.W. Cooper, S.G. Denisenko, K. Iken, M. Kędra, and C. Serratos. 2015. Time-series benthic community composition and biomass and associated environmental characteristics in the Chukchi Sea during the RUSALCA 2004–2012 Program. Oceanography 28(3):116–133, https://doi.org/​10.5670/​oceanog.2015.61.

Grebmeier, J.M., L.W. Cooper, M.H. Feder, and B.I. Sirenko. 2006a. Ecosystem dynamics of the Pacific influenced Bering and Chukchi Seas in the American Arctic. Progress in Oceanography 71:331–361, https://doi.org/​10.1016/j.pocean.2006.10.001.

Grebmeier, J.M., H.M. Feder, and C.P. McRoy. 1989. Pelagic-benthic coupling in the northern Bering and southern Chukchi Seas: Part II. Benthic community structure. Marine Ecology Progress Series 51:253–268.

Highsmith, R.C., K.O. Coyle, B.A. Bluhm, and B. Konar. 2006. Gray whales in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. Pp. 303–313 in Whales, Whaling and Ocean Ecosystems. J.A. Estes, D.P. Demaster, D.F. Doak, T.M. Williams, and R.L. Brownell Jr., eds, University of California Press, Santa Cruz.

Iken, K., B. Bluhm, and K. Dunton. 2010. Benthic food-web structure under differing water mass properties in the southern Chukchi Sea. Deep Sea Research Part II 57(1):71–85, https://doi.org/​10.1016/j.dsr2.2009.08.007.

Illiashenko, V.Yu., and E.I. Illiashenko. 2000. Krasnaya kniga Rossii: Pravovye akty [Red Data Book of Russia: Legislative acts]. State Committee of the Russian Federation for Environmental Protection, Moscow. [in Russian]

Klyashtorin, L.B., and A.A. Lubushin. 2005. Cyclic Changes of Climate and Fish Productivity. VNIRO, Moscow, 235 pp. [in Russian]

Kortsch, S., R. Primicerio, F. Beuchel, P. Renaud, J. Rodrigues, O.J. Lønne, and B. Gulliksen. 2012. Climate-driven regime shifts in Arctic marine benthos. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109:14,052–14,057, https://doi.org/​10.1073/pnas.1207509109.

Kosheleva, V.A., and D.S. Yashin. 1999. Bottom Sediments of the Russian Arctic Seas. VNIIOkeangeologia, St. Petersburg, 286 pp. [in Russian]

Krause-Jensen, D., N. Marbà, B. Olsen, M.K. Sejr, P.B. Christensen, J.O. Rodrigues, P.E. Renaud, T.J.S. Balsby, and S. Rysgaard. 2012. Seasonal sea ice cover as principal driver of spatial and temporal variation in depth extension and annual production of kelp in Greenland. Global Change Biology 18:2,981–2,994, https://doi.org/​10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02765.x.

Krylov, V.I. 1971. About foraging of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens III). Proceedings of AtlantNIRO 39:110–116. [in Russian]

Kuznetsov, A.P. 1980. Ecology of Bottom Communities of the World Ocean: Trophic Structure of Marine Bottom Fauna. Nauka, Moscow, 244 pp. [in Russian]

Kuznetsov, A.P. 1986. About deposit feeding and suspension feeding in class of the bivalve molluscs. Pp. 6–10 in Foraging of the Marine Invertebrates in Natural Conditions. M.N. Sokolova, ed., Institute of Oceanology of the USSR, Moscow. [in Russian]

Makarov, V.V. 1937. Materials on quantitative estimation of bottom fauna of the northern part of the Bering Sea and the Chukchi Sea. Explorations of the Seas of the USSR 25:260–291.

Möbius, K. 1877. Die Auster und die Austerwirtschaft. Berlin, 59 pp.

Moore, S.E., E. Logerwell, L. Eisner, E. Farley, L. Harwood, K. Kuletz, J. Lovvorn, J. Murphy, and L. Quakenbush. 2014. Marine fishes, birds and mammals as sentinels of ecosystem variability and reorganization in the Pacific Arctic region. Pp. 337–392 in The Pacific Arctic Region: Ecosystem Status and Trends in a Rapidly Changing Environment. J.M. Grebmeier and W. Maslowski, eds, Springer, Dordrecht.

Münchow, A., T.J. Weingartner, and L.W. Cooper. 1999. The summer hydrography and surface circulation of the East Siberian Shelf Sea. Journal of Physical Oceanography 29:2,167–2,182, https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0485(1999)029​<2167%3ATSHASC>2.0.CO%3B2

Neiman, A.A. 1961. Some patterns of benthos spatial distribution in the Bering Sea. Oceanology 1(2):294–304. [in Russian]

Neiman, A.A. 1988. Spatial Distribution and Trophic Structure of Benthos of the Wold Ocean Shelf. VNIRO, Moscow, 101 pp. [in Russian]

Petersen, G.H. 1978. Life cycles and population dynamics of marine benthic bivalves from the Disko Bugt area of West Greenland. Ophelia 17(1):95–120, https://doi.org/10.1080/00785326.1978.10425475.

Pearson, T.H., and R. Rosenberg. 1978. Macrobenthic succession in relation to organic enrichment and pollution of the marine environment. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 16:229–311.

Pianka, E.R. 1994. Evolutionary Ecology, 5th ed. HarperCollins, New York, 411 pp.

Pickart, R.S., M.A. Spall, and J.T. Mathis. 2013. Dynamics of upwelling in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea and associated shelf-basin fluxes. Deep Sea Research Part I 76:35–51, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.dsr.2013.01.007.

Piraino, S., S. Fanelli, and F. Boero. 2002. Variability of species’ roles in marine communities: Change of paradigms for conservation priorities. Marine Biology 140:1,067–1,074, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-001-0769-2.

Pisareva, M.N., R.S. Pickart, K. Iken, E.A. Ershova, J.M. Grebmeier, L.W. Cooper, B.A. Bluhm, C. Nobre, R.R. Hopcroft, H. Hu, and others. 2015. The relationship between patterns of benthic fauna and zooplankton in the Chukchi Sea and physical forcing. Oceanography 28(3):68–83, https://doi.org/​10.5670/oceanog.2015.58.

Ratmanov, G.E. 1937. The hydrology of the Bering and Chukchi seas. Explorations of the Far-East Seas 5:10–118. [in Russian]

Rusanova, M.N. 1963. Short information on [Summaries of?] the biology of some common species of invertebrates from the area of Cape Kartesh. Materials on Complex Exploration of the White Sea. 2:53–65. [in Russian]

Sakshaug, E. 2004. Primary and secondary production in Arctic Seas. P. 57–81 in The Organic Carbon Cycle in the Arctic Ocean. R. Stein and R.W. Macdonald, eds, Springer, Berlin. 

Schlitzer, R. 2015. Ocean Data View, http://odv.awi.de.

Sheffield, G., and J.M. Grebmeier. 2009. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens): Differential prey digestion and diet. Marine Mammal Science 25:761–777, https://doi.org/​10.1111/j.1748-7692.2009.00316.x.

Shuntov, V.P. 2001. Biology of Russian Far-East Seas. TINRO-tsentr, Vladivostok, 580 pp.

Sirenko, B.I., S.G. Denisenko, S.Ju. Gagaev, A.N. Golikov, A.A. Golikov, and V.V. Petrjshev. 2009. Bottom communities of the Chukchi Sea shelf at depths below 10 m. Pp. 32–55 in Ecosystems and Bioresources of the Chukchi Sea and Adjacent Waters. B.I. Sirenko ed., Explorations of the Seas 64(72), ZIN RAS, St. Petersburg. 

Sirenko, B.I., and S.Ju. Gagaev. 2007. Unusual abundance of macrozoobenthos and Pacific invaders in the Chukchi Sea based of the first RUSALCA expedition. Russian Journal of Marine Biology 33(6):399–407. 

Sirenko, B.I., and V.M. Koltun. 1992. Characteristics of benthic biocenoses of the Chukchi and Bering Seas. Pp. 251–258 in Results of the Third Joint US–USSR Bering and Chukchi Seas Expedition (BERPAC): Summer 1988. J.F. Turner and P.A. Nagel, eds, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC. 

Stoker, S.W. 1978. Benthic invertebrate macrofauna of the eastern continental shelf of the Bering/Chukchi Seas. Dissertation, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Vorobyev, V.P. 1949. Benthos of the Azov Sea. Proceedings of AzCherNIRO, vol. 13, 193 pp. [in Russian]

Wallace, J.M., and D.S. Gutzler. 1981. Teleconnections in the geopotential height field during the Northern Hemisphere winter. Monthly Weather Review 109(4):784–812, https://doi.org/10.1175/​1520-0493(1981)109<0784:TITGHF>2.0.CO;2.

Wassmann, P., M. Reigstad, T. Haug, B. Rudels, M. Carroll, H. Hop, G. Gabrielsen, S. Falk-Petersen, S.G. Denisenko, E. Arashkevich, and others. 2006. Food webs and carbon flux in the Barents Sea. Progress in Oceanography 71:232–287, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2006.10.003.

Weingartner, T., K. Aagaard, R. Woodgate, S. Danielson, Y. Sasaki, and D. Cavalieri. 2005. Circulation on the north central Chukchi Sea shelf. Deep Sea Research Part II 52:3,150–3,174, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2005.10.015.

Whittaker, R. 1975. Communities and Ecosystems. Macmillan, New York, 352 pp. 

Woodgate, R.A., T.J. Weingartner, and R. Lindsay. 2012. Observed increases in Bering Strait oceanic fluxes from the Pacific to the Arctic from 2001 to 2011 and their impacts on the Arctic Ocean water column. Geophysical Research Letters 39, L24603, https://doi.org/10.1029/2012GL054092.

Zenkevich, L.A. 1951. Seas of the USSR, Their Fauna and Flora. Uchpedgis, Moscow. 368 pp.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.