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On the eastern side of the island the fauna is richer, species and individuals more numerous than on the west coast ; in the former tract, moreover, the fauna is markedly benthonic, in the latter planktonic. These contracts are referred to the action of currents. While Gulf Stream water occupies the sea west and north of Spitzbergen it is intimately mixed with the cold water of the polar current on the east. In this zone of mixture the stenothermic and stenohalinic organisms of the plankton aredoi:10.1126/science.12.290.116 pmid:17789894 fatcat:nobayivsb5g6do5fpcz4ywioy4