The settlement of Smeerenburg on Amsterdam Island in north-west Svalbard, originated with Dutch whalers before 1620: one of Europe's northernmost outposts. During the first intensive phase of the Spitsbergenwhale fishery, Smeerenburg served as the centre of operations in the north. (The name Smeerenburg, in the Dutch language, literally means "blubber town".) Around 1660, with the decline of whaling, the settlement became abandoned.
In 1973 the ruins of Smeerenburg became part of Norway's North West Spitsbergen National Park.
Smeerenburg provided the highest number of taxa of macroalgae in total, and the highest number of faunal and algal taxa found only at one single station.
The total number found at Smeerenburg resembled that of Rossøya, and for all the three stations the ratio of Phaeophyta to Rhodophyta was close to 1.
The separation of the two depth ranges at Smeerenburg is probably greatly exaggerated when viewing the frequency data, as algae shaded for the presence of fauna, thereby depressing the frequency of recorded animals and further enhancing a high frequency of algae in the data set.
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