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Abstract

Scavenging fauna was sampled by means of baited traps in three different habitats of Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, Arctic). Lysianassoid amphipods, represented by nine species, made up 98.9% of the materials collected between 5 and 30 m. The dominant species were Anonyx sarsi and Onisimus caricus, which constituted 91.6% of collected individuals. The abundance of animals attracted to traps was variable and a gradual decrease in abundance with increasing depth was observed. Spatial segregation of species resulted from a number of factors ranging from depth, hydrological conditions, sedimentation regime and bottom type to food accessibility. Gut contents analysis indicated that in summer Onisimus caricus relied on zooplankton sinking due to the osmotic shock in the glacial bay; Onisimus edwardsi had a diverse diet; and Orchomenella minuta fed mostly on small crustaceans. During laboratory experiments all species were observed feeding on dead or injured zooplankton, while preying on live planktonie organisms was never noted.
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