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    Megafauna distribution of biomass (g/15 min trawling) in the Barents Sea in 2007, 2011 and 2015. The green circles show the distribution of the snow crab as it spreads from east to west, and the blue triangles show the invasion of king crab along the coast of the southern Barents Sea. Data from Institute of Marine Research, Norway and the Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography, Murmansk, Russia. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 95 - Figure 3.3.2 The annual joint Norwegian–Russian Ecosystem Survey provides from more than 400 stations and during extensive cruise tracks covering more or less the whole Barents Sea in August– September. The sampling is based on a regular grid spanning about 1.5 millionkm2 with fixed positions of stations which make it possible to measure changes in spatial distribution over time. The trawl is a Campelen 1800 bottom trawl rigged with rock-hopper groundgear and towed on double Warps. The mesh size is 80 mm (stretched) in the front and 16–22 mmin the cod end, allowing the capture and retention of smaller fish and the largest benthos from the seabed (benthic megafauna). The horizontal opening was 11.7 m, and the vertical opening 4–5 m (Teigsmark and Øynes, 1982). The trawl configuration and bottom contact was monitored remotely by SCANMAR trawl sensors. The standard distance between trawl stations was 35 nautical miles (65 km), except north and west of Svalbard where a stratified sampling was adapted to the steep continental shelve. The standard procedure was to tow 15 min after the trawl had made contact with the bottom, but the actual tow duration ranged between 5 min and 1 h and data were subsequently standardized to 15 min trawl time. Towing speed was 3 knots, equivalent to a towing distance of 0.75 nautical miles (1.4 km) during a 15 min tow. The trawl catches were recorded using the same procedures on the Russian and the Norwegian Research vessels to ensure comparability across Barents Sea regions. The benthic megafauna was separated from the fish and shrimp catch, washed, and sorted to lowest possible taxonomic level, in most cases to species, on-Board the vessel. Species identification was standardized between the researcher teams by annually exchanging the benthic expert’s among the vessels and taxon names were fixed each year according toWORMSwhen possible.This resulted in an Electronic identification manual and photo-compendium as a tool to standardize taxon identifications, in addition to various sources of identification literature. Difficult taxa were photographed and, in some cases, brought back as preserved voucher specimens for further identification. Wet-weight biomass was recorded with electronic scales in the ship laboratories for each taxon.The biomass determination included all fragments.

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    Trends in biomass or diversity of benthic Focal Ecosystem Components across each Arctic Marine Area. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - Chapter 4 - Page 179 - Figure 4.3

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    Cumulative scores of various environmental and anthropogenic drivers of change of the benthic ecosystem across the eight Arctic Marine Areas (AMA). A cumulative score is the median score of sub-regions per AMA (Table 3.3.1). Median score for the whole Arctic is given in the centre. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 100 - Figure 3.3.7

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    Macrofauna distribution of biomass (g wet fixed weight m-2) in the Barents Sea over three time periods: 1924-32 (Figure A), 1968-70 (Figure B) and 2003 (Figure C, constructed from original archive data, except for area south of 72° N where digitized megafaunal-data taken from Anisimova et al. (2010) was used. Adapted from Denisenko (2013). Blue boxes delineate the areas within which the zoobenthos biomass values were compared. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 96- Figure 3.3.3

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    Commercial fishery impact on zoobenthos of the Barents Sea. Figure A) Intensity and duration of fishery efforts in standard commercial fishery areas in the Barents Sea. The darker the area the longer the fishery has been in operation. Figure B) Level of decline in macrobenthic biomass between 1926-1932 and 1968-1970 calculated as 1-b1968/b1930. The largest biomass decreases correspond to the darker colour, whereas lighter colour refers to no change (Denisenko 2013). STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 97 - Figure 3.3.4

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    Benthic macro-infauna biomass in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas from 1970 to 2012, displayed as decadal pattern Adapted from Grebmeier et al. (2015a) with permission from Elsevier. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 98 - Figure 3.3.6 Cumulative scores of benthos drivers for each of the 8 CAFF-AMAs. The cumulative scores are taken from the last column of Table 3.3.1. The flower chart/plot helps to visualize the data.

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    Number of megafauna species/taxa in the Arctic (7,322 stations in total), based on recent trawl investigations. Stations with highest species/taxon number are sorted to the top, meaning that dense concentrations of stations (e.g. Eastern Canada, Barents Sea), with low species numbers are hidden behind stations with higher species numbers. Also note that species numbers are somewhat biased by differing taxonomic resolution between studies. Data from: Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Iceland; Marine Research Institute, Iceland; University of Alaska, Fairbanks, U.S.; Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Greenland; Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia; Université du Québec à Rimouski, Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Institute of Marine Research, Norway; and Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography, Murmansk, Russia. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 91 - Box figure 3.3.2 Several regions of the Pan Arctic have been sampled with trawl. Even though the trawl configurations and the taxonomic level are different from area to area, we choose to consider the taxonomic richness as relatively comparative.

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    Arthropods (e.g., shrimps, crabs, sea spiders, amphipods, isopods) dominate taxon numbers in all Arctic regions, followed by polychaetes (e.g., bristle worms) and mollusks (e.g., gastropods, bivalves). Other taxon groups are diverse in some regions, such as bryozoans in the Kara Sea, cnidarians in the Atlantic Arctic, and foraminiferans in the Arctic deep-sea basins. This pattern is biased, however, by the meiofauna inclusion for the Arctic Basin (macro- and meiofauna size ranges overlap substantially in deep-sea fauna, so nematodes and foraminiferans are included) and the influence of a lack of specialists for some difficult taxonomic groups. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 89 - Box figure 3.3.1 Each region of the Pan Arctic has been sampled with a set of different sampling gears, including grab, sledge and trawl, while other areas has only been sampled with grab. Here is the complete species/taxa number and the % distribution of species/taxa in main phyla, per region of the Pan Arctic.

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    Variation of average annual trawling activity (in hours) and macrobenthic biomass (g m-2), (a) and relationship of biomass with a four-year lag (mean value of time of the turnover in biomass value) to trawling activity, (b) along the Kola section of the Barents Sea during 1920-1997 (Denisenko 2001, 2013). STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 97 - Figure 3.3.5

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    The Arctic Basin where suggested future long-term monitoring of trawl-megafauna should capture possible changes along the flow of the Arctic Circumpolar Boundary Current (Figure A, blue line) and the Arctic deep-water exchange (Figure b, green line). Adapted from Bluhm et al. (2015). STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 88 - Figure 3.3.1