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Spatial variability of meiofaunal communities at areas of contrasting depth and productivity in the Aegean Sea (NE Mediterranean)
Lampadariou, N.; Tselepides, A. (2006). Spatial variability of meiofaunal communities at areas of contrasting depth and productivity in the Aegean Sea (NE Mediterranean). Prog. Oceanogr. 69: 19-36
In: Progress in Oceanography. Pergamon: Oxford,New York,. ISSN 0079-6611, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Meiobenthos; Productivity; Productivity; Productivity; Nematoda [WoRMS]; MED, Eastern Mediterranean [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • Lampadariou, N., more
  • Tselepides, A., more

Abstract
    The abundance and community structure of metazoan meiofauna were studied in deep-sea sediments from the north and south Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean) in summer 1997 and spring 1998. The two areas varied in their surface primary productivity with the northern area being more productive. Meiofaunal densities displayed strong spatial variability while no temporal changes were observed. Total metazoan density ranged from 128 to 1251 ind./10 cm2, with significantly higher values in the north. Meiofaunal biomass ranged from 27 to 391 lgC/10 cm2 with higher values also in the north. At all stations nematodes dominated the community, comprising on average more than 91% of the total abundance. On a broad scale, meiofaunal densities displayed a positive correlation with food availability (sediment-bound chloroplastic pigments, carbohydrates and lipids); carbon mineralization (an indicator of organic matter turnover) was significantly higher in the northern Aegean, providing evidence of high organic-matter input and intense benthic-pelagic coupling. The spatial structure of the nematode community indicated that the two areas were similar in terms of their dominant genera (Halalaimus, Acantholaimus, and Thalassomonhystera).

Dataset
  • Aegean Sea Bathyal Nematodes, more

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