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Diversity and composition of the copepod communities associated with megafauna around a cold seep in the Gulf of Mexico with remarks on species biogeography
Plum, C.; Gollner, S.; Martinez Arbizu, P.; Bright, M. (2015). Diversity and composition of the copepod communities associated with megafauna around a cold seep in the Gulf of Mexico with remarks on species biogeography. Mar. Biodiv. 45(3): 419-432. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12526-014-0310-8
In: Marine Biodiversity. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 1867-1616, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Deep sea; Meiofauna
Author keywords
    Community structure; Copepod biodiversity; Copepod distribution; Chemosynthesis-based habitats

Authors  Top 
  • Plum, C.
  • Gollner, S., more
  • Martinez Arbizu, P., more
  • Bright, M.

Abstract
    In order to characterize the copepod communitiesassociated with tubeworm and mussel aggregations around ahydrocarbon seep in the Green Canyon of the Gulf of Mexico,diversity, abundance, and community composition were analyzed.Also analyzed were species biogeography and the potentialconnectivity to other chemosynthesis-based habitats.Copepod abundance and biomass were very low amongtubeworms and mussels, with 0.22 to 6.08 individuals per10 cm2 sampled area and 9.02 to 42.43 µg wet weight10 cm2 sampled area, respectively; but, abundance was significantlyhigher among the mussels. Fifty-five copepod specieswere identified, of which most were newly discoveredand primarily belonging to the Harpacticoida order. Four copepodspecies were previously recorded from other food-richand hard-substrata environments, such as hydrothermal ventsor wood falls. Another four species showed close morphologicalproximity to species described from cold seeps, hydrothermalvents, and wood falls. Copepod diversity and communitycomposition showed no significant differences betweenthe foundation species. However, differences in therelative abundance and dominance of single species indicatea rather homogeneous community in mussel beds and a moreheterogeneous community among tubeworms, indicating thatfoundation species may shape the abundance and communitycomposition of associated copepods at cold seeps.

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