Ninety eight polychaete species were found in the shallow sublittoral of Admiralty Bay. The most abundant were Leitoscoloplos kerguelensis, Tauberia gracilis, Ophelina syringopyge, Rhodine intermedia, Tharyx cincinnatus, Aricidea (Acesta) strelzovi, Apistobranchus sp., Cirrophorus brevicirratus and Microspio moorei. Mean abundance of polychaetes was estimated at 120 ind./ 0.1m2. As a result of cluster analysis several polychaete assemblages were distinguished. The highly specific assemblage with two characteristic species, Scoloplos marginatus and Travisia kerguelensis, from shallow areas with sandy bottom situated far from glaciers; a distincly specific assemblage with Apistobranchus sp. from poorly sorted sediments in the bottom areas situated on the slopes at the base of steep rubble shores; the richest and most diverse, highly specific polychaete assemblage from the central basin of the bay with Tauberia gracilis as the most characteristic species, as well as two assemblages from the bottom areas neighbouring glaciers and influenced by the intensive enrichment of very small grain-sized sediments with Ophelina cylindricaudata and Tharyx cincinnatus. Clear assemblages’ arrangement was observed along the gradient: sand, silty sand, silt towards clay silt. Other important factors, supporting the proposed classification of assemblages and their character, include the sorting coefficient of the sediment (So) as well as the slope of the bottom. The between-habitat diversity of polychaete fauna is strongly connected with the phenomena occurring in the neighbouring terrestrial coastal areas.
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