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Colonization studies in the deep sea: are results biased by experimental designs?
Smith, C.R. (1985). Colonization studies in the deep sea: are results biased by experimental designs?, in: Gibbs, P.E. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 19th European Marine Biology Symposium, Plymouth, Devon, UK, 16-21 September 1984. pp. 183-190
In: Gibbs, P.E. (Ed.) (1985). Proceedings of the 19th European Marine Biology Symposium, Plymouth, Devon, UK, 16-21 September 1984. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-30294-3. 541 pp., more

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    VLIZ: Proceedings [16840]
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine

Author  Top 
  • Smith, C.R.

Abstract
    Results of studies of the colonization of disturbed substrates in the deep sea suggest that common infaunal species respond very slowly to communitY disequilibrium. These results come from colonization-tray experiments which potentially suffer from sampling artifacts due to altered hydrodynamics, isolation, and arbitrary space and sampling times. To illustrate the possible magnitude of these biases, a comparison is made of concurrent, deep-sea colonization studies using two different experimental designs: (1) the response of infauna to disturbance / enrichment of natural sediment near bait parcels placed on the seafloor, and (2) infaunal colonization of prefrozen, azoic sediment in trays resting on the bottom. Three macrofaunal species, two of them common, showed evidence of attraction to disturbed areas around bait parcels after 3 weeks; these same species showed little or no response to tray sediment on much longer time scales (20 weeks). This comparison suggests that current views of infaunal colonization in the deep sea, based on sediment-tray data, may be heavily biased, that more natural experimental designs are needed to study disturbance and succession in the deep sea, and that short time-scales must be addressed in kinematic studies of community processes, even in the 'slow-moving' abyss.

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