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Temporal and spatial variation in the Nazare Canyon (Western Iberian margin): inter-annual and canyon heterogeneity effects on meiofauna biomass and diversity
Ramalho, S.P.; Adao, H.; Kiriakoulakis, K.; Wolff, G.A.; Vanreusel, A.; Ingels, J. (2014). Temporal and spatial variation in the Nazare Canyon (Western Iberian margin): inter-annual and canyon heterogeneity effects on meiofauna biomass and diversity. Deep-Sea Res., Part 1, Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 83: 102-114. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2013.09.010
In: Deep-Sea Research, Part I. Oceanographic Research Papers. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 0967-0637, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279416 [ OMA ]

Keywords
Author keywords
    Meiofauna; Nematodes; Community structure; Biomass; Environmentalconditions; Inter-annual variation; Submarine canyon; Nazare; NEAtlantic

Authors  Top 
  • Ramalho, S.P.
  • Adao, H.
  • Kiriakoulakis, K.
  • Wolff, G.A.
  • Vanreusel, A., more
  • Ingels, J., more

Abstract
    The Nazare Canyon on the Portuguese Margin (NE Atlantic) was sampled during spring-summer for three consecutive years (2005-2007), permitting the first inter-annual study of the meiofaunal communities at the Iberian Margin at two abyssal depths (similar to 3500 m and similar to 4400 m). Using new and already published data, the meiofauna standing stocks (abundance and biomass) and nematode structural and functional diversity were investigated in relation to the sediment biogeochemistry (e.g. organic carbon, nitrogen, chlorophyll a, phaeopigments) and grain size. A conspicuous increase in sand content from 2005 to 2006 and decrease of phytodetritus at both sites, suggested the occurrence of one or more physical disturbance events. Nematode standing stocks and trophic diversity decreased after these events, seemingly followed by a recovery/recolonisation period in 2007, which was strongly correlated with an increase in the quantity and bioavailability of phytodetrital organic matter supplied. Changes in meiofauna assemblages, however, also differed between stations, likely because of the contrasting hydrodynamic and food supply conditions. Higher meiofauna and nematode abundances, biomass and trophic complexity were found at the shallowest canyon station, where the quantity, quality and bioavailability of food material were higher than at the deeper site. The present results suggest that even though inter-annual variations in the sedimentary environment can regulate the meiofauna in the abyssal Nazare Canyon, heterogeneity between sampling locations in the canyon were more pronounced.

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