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Quantification of iceberg impact and benthic recolonisation patterns in the Weddell Sea (Antarctica)
Gutt, J.; Starmans, A. (2001). Quantification of iceberg impact and benthic recolonisation patterns in the Weddell Sea (Antarctica). Polar Biol. 24(8): 615-619. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s003000100263
In: Polar Biology. Springer-Verlag: Berlin. ISSN 0722-4060, more
Peer reviewed article

Also published as
  • Gutt, J.; Starmans, A. (2002). Quantification of iceberg impact and benthic recolonisation patterns in the Weddell Sea (Antarctica), in: Arntz, W.E. et al. (Ed.) (2002). Ecological studies in the Antarctic sea ice zone: results of EASIZ Midterm Symposium. pp. 210-214, more

Keywords
    Benthos; Colonization; Ecosystem resilience; Icebergs; PSW, Weddell Sea [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Gutt, J.
  • Starmans, A.

Abstract
    Video transects in the eastern Weddell Sea were used to classify the mega-epibenthos into stages of recolonisation after iceberg impact and unaffected fauna. Three site categories differing in bottom topography and concentration of grounded icebergs were analysed. At small iceberg banks and on a comparatively plain seabed, 52-60% of undisturbed seafloor was found, and below 20% at a large iceberg bank. The impact was calculated as a function of values for recently disturbed areas and an estimated recovery time. The results show that, statistically, the Antarctic benthos never reaches peak maturity and that iceberg scouring is among the five most significant disturbances that any large ecosystem on earth experiences.

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