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Response of harpacticoid copepods to habitat structure at a deep-sea site
Thistle, D.; Eckman, J.E. (1988). Response of harpacticoid copepods to habitat structure at a deep-sea site, in: Boxshall, G.A. et al. (Ed.) Biology of copepods: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Copepoda. Developments in Hydrobiology, 47: pp. 143-149. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/978-94-009-3103-9_12
In: Boxshall, G.A.; Schminke, H.K. (Ed.) (1988). Biology of copepods: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Copepoda. Developments in Hydrobiology, 47. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht. ISBN 90-6193-654-3. XII, 639 pp., more
In: Dumont, H.J. (Ed.) Developments in Hydrobiology. Kluwer Academic/Springer: The Hague; London; Boston; Dordrecht. ISSN 0167-8418, more

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Keywords
    Harpacticoida [WoRMS]; [WoRMS]; Tharyx Webster & Benedict, 1887 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Deep-sea benthos; Harpacticoid copepods; Habitat structure

Authors  Top 
  • Thistle, D.
  • Eckman, J.E.

Abstract
    Given the quiescent physical environment and the low rates of bioturbation in the deep sea, biologically produced structures, such as animals tubes, may play an important role in creating habitat heterogeneity. In San Diego Trough, the cirratulid polychactc Tharyx luticastellus builds and inhabits a robust mud concretion (a mudball). Mudballs are abundant and persist after the worm has died or abandoned them. Our analysis of twelve 6.6-cm-diamcter cores from 32° 51.02’ N, 117° 46.97’ W, taken with the submersible SEA CLIFF, indicate that one of 29 spccics of harpacticoids common in San Diego Trough is associated with Tharyx mudballs. This species (of the genus Heteropsyllus) responded only to mudballs containing worms, suggesting that any effects of the inanimate structure were not the cause of the association. We could dctcct no difference in bacterial numbers in sediments between control and occupied-mudball samples. This result suggests that the response does not result from gross differences in food levels near a mudball, but the possibility that there are differences in some preferred food cannot be discounted. An univestigatod possibility is that Heteropsyllus responds to occupied mudballs because the worm’s presence deters some (presumably small) predator.

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