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Macrofauna density, biomass, and biodiversity on and off a cold-water coral mound in the Belgica Mounds, Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic
Tania, C. (2011). Macrofauna density, biomass, and biodiversity on and off a cold-water coral mound in the Belgica Mounds, Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic. MSc Thesis. Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). Department of Marine Ecology: Texel. 43 pp.

Thesis info:
    Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (NIOZ), more

Available in Author 
    VLIZ: Non-open access 227010
Document type: Dissertation

Keywords
    Biodiversity; Biomass; Density; ANE, Porcupine Seabight [gazetteer]; Marine

Author  Top 
  • Tania, C.

Abstract
    Cold-water coral with its extensive 3-dimensional structure can support a diverse benthic community. The goal of this study was to quantify the density, biomass, and biodiversity of the macrofauna for on-coral areas in comparison to off-coral areas. Feeding type was also determined to investigate the ecological function of the macrofauna. Samples were collected using a NIOZ box-corer in the Belgica Mounds, Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic. The results showed that on-coral samples had 12.63 times higher density and 22.49 times higher biomass than off-coral samples. The presence of cold-water coral structure alters the local environment providing favorable conditions for other macrofauna to flourish. Most of the on-coral macrofauna were suspension-feeding epifauna, while most off-coral macrofauna were deposit-feeding (interface and subsurface) infauna. On-coral sites had higher biodiversity than off-coral sites. However, further study and additional samplings are needed to reveal the real off-coral biodiversity range.

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