Survey of the benthic algal vegetation of the Berufjöðrur, southeastern Iceland
Munda, Ivka M.
The gradient of the benthic algal vegetation along the coast of Berufjörður, southeastern Iceland is described. Attention was paid to the influence of salinity and substrate heterogenity on zonation patterns and leading algal associations. Differences between the main algal zones on sheltered and exposed sides of rocky formations are accentuated. The distribution of the individual species along the coast of the fjord is presented and some biomass evaluations are included. This fjord is situated in the vicinity of the hydrographic boundary area (the frontal zone) which separates water masses of Arctic origin from Atlantic water. In accordance the subarctic character of the vegetation was less pronounced in Berufjörður than in the rest of the eastern Icelandic fjords. The typical subarctic tide-pool association of Coilodesme bulligera - Ralfsia fungiformis was absent. Several Atlantic floristic elements joined the vegetation, especially along the southern fjord coast (Ceramium spp., Dumontia contorta, Cladophora rupestris, Membranoptera alata). A demarcation in species distribution and vegetation patterns was obvious in the outermost area of the northern fjord coast. This coastline represented the southern distributional limit for several cold-water species, such as Polysiphollia arctica, Turnerella pennyi, Enteromorpha groenlandica and for low-eulittoral belts of Porphyra thulaea.