|Diversity and community structure of harpacticoid copepods associated with cold-water coral substrates in the Porcupine Seabight (North-East Atlantic)|
|Gheerardyn, H.; De Troch, M.; Vincx, M.; Vanreusel, A. (2010). Diversity and community structure of harpacticoid copepods associated with cold-water coral substrates in the Porcupine Seabight (North-East Atlantic). Helgol. Mar. Res. 64(1): 53-62. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10152-009-0166-7|
|In: Helgoland Marine Research. Springer: Berlin. ISSN 1438-387X, more|
Biodiversity; Cold water; Community composition; Corals; Microhabitats; Copepoda [WoRMS]; Harpacticoida [WoRMS]; ANE, North East Atlantic [gazetteer]; ANE, Porcupine Seabight [gazetteer]; Marine
Cold-water corals; Biodiversity; Microhabitats; Harpacticoid copepods; North-East Atlantic; Porcupine Seabight
The influence of microhabitat type on the diversity and community structure of the harpacticoid copepod fauna associated with a cold-water coral degradation zone was investigated in the Porcupine Seabight (North-East Atlantic). Three substrate types were distinguished: dead fragments of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa, skeletons of the glass sponge Aphrocallistes bocagei and the underlying sediment. At the family level, it appears that coral fragments and underlying sediment do not harbour distinctly different assemblages, with Ectinosomatidae, Ameiridae, Pseudotachidiidae, Argestidae and Miraciidae as most abundant. Conclusions on assemblage structure and diversity of the sponge skeletons are limited as only two samples were available. Similarity analysis at species level showed a strong variation in the sediment samples, which did not harbour a distinctly different assemblage in opposition to the coral and sponge samples. Several factors (sediment infill on the hard substrates, mobility of the copepods, limited sample sizes) are proposed to explain this apparent lack of a distinct difference between the microhabitats. Coral fragments and sediment were both characterised by high species diversity and low species dominance, which might indicate that copepod diversity is not substantially influenced by hydrodynamical stress. The additive partitioning of species diversity showed that by adding locations species richness was greatly enhanced. The harpacticoid community in the cold-water coral degradation zone is highly diverse and includes 157 species, 62 genera and 19 families. Information from neighbouring soft-bottom regions is necessary to assess whether total species diversity is increased by the presence of these complex habitat-providing substrates.