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Benthic animals, particularly Hyalinoecia (Annelida) and Ophiomusium (Echinodermata), in seabottom photographs from the continental slope
Wigley, R.L.; Emery, K.O. (1967). Benthic animals, particularly Hyalinoecia (Annelida) and Ophiomusium (Echinodermata), in seabottom photographs from the continental slope, in: Hersey, J.B. (Ed.) Deep-sea photography. pp. 235-250
In: Hersey, J.B. (Ed.) (1967). Deep-sea photography. The John Hopkins Oceanographic Studies, 3. The John Hopkins Press: Baltimore. 310 pp., more
In: The John Hopkins Oceanographic Studies. ISSN 0271-2229, more

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  • Wigley, R.L.
  • Emery, K.O.

    Photographs of the sea floor generally have received only partial or superficial use by biologists, largely because of difficulty in identifying the animals. A combined underwater camera and bottom-grab sampler permits fuller use of the photographs. An analysis of forty photographs of the sea bottom, together with their accompanying quantitative samples of the benthos, revealed a sparse to unexpectedly rich benthic fauna inhabiting the continental slope between Georges Bank and Cape Hatteras. The polychaete worm Hyalinoecia tubicola and tbe brittle star Ophiomusium lymani were the two species shown most commonly and clearly in the photographs; they were also the dominant epibenthic forms in the grab samples. Notes on their size, distribution pattern, body position, tracks, and related ecological information are included in this report. Large surface-dwelling species comprised a major portion of the total benthic biomass. In both tbe surface fauna and total benthos, weights and numbers of individuals were largest in tbe shallowest zone (200 to 500 m) and least in the deepest zone (2,000 to 3,310 m). A comparison of total benthic biomass (based on grab-sampler data and photographs) clearly indicates that the surface-dwelling component was underestimated using tbe grab-sampler technique. It is concluded that seabottom photographs are a desirable supplement to grab samples in studies of benthic biomass. Furthermore, the photographic method is judged to be superior to the conventional method for determining the biomass of large surface-dwelling organisms.

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