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Ectosymbiosis is a critical factor in. the local benthic biodiversity of the Antarctic deep sea
Hétérier, V.; David, B.; De Ridder, C.; Rigaud, T. (2008). Ectosymbiosis is a critical factor in. the local benthic biodiversity of the Antarctic deep sea. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 364: 67-76. dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps07487
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 231298 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Cidaroidea [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    symbiosis; species diversity; species abundance; null models; cidaroids;

Authors  Top 
  • Hétérier, V., more
  • David, B.
  • De Ridder, C., more
  • Rigaud, T.

Abstract
    In deep-sea benthic environments, competition for hard substrates is a critical factor in the distribution and diversity of organisms. In this context, the occurrence of biotic substrates in addition to mineral substrates may change the characteristics of sessile fauna. We tested this hypothesis at different localities of the Weddell Sea (Antarctica) by Studying the diversity of ectosymbionts living on the spines of cidaroids (echinoids), The presence of cidaroids promoted a higher total specific richness and increased sessile species abundance, but did riot change the diversity. Analyses of species distribution suggested that the cidaroids are a favourable habitat for sessile organisms, compared to rocks, but are colonized by relatively specialist sessile species, leaving the unfavourable rock habitat to more generalist species. Therefore, our study highlights the role of some living organisms, such as cidaroids, as key species increasing Antarctic benthic deep-sea species richness through the niche they provide to symbiotic species.

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