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Diversity and community structure of pelagic cnidarians in the Celebes and Sulu Seas, southeast Asian tropical marginal seas
Grossmann, M.M.; Nishikawa, J.; Lindsay, D.J. (2015). Diversity and community structure of pelagic cnidarians in the Celebes and Sulu Seas, southeast Asian tropical marginal seas. Deep-Sea Res., Part 1, Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 100: 54-63. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.dsr.2015.02.005
In: Deep-Sea Research, Part I. Oceanographic Research Papers. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 0967-0637, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Tropical; Marginal sea; Sill; Pelagic cnidarians; Community structure

Authors  Top 
  • Grossmann, M.M.
  • Nishikawa, J.
  • Lindsay, D.J.

Abstract
    The Sulu Sea is a semi-isolated, marginal basin surrounded by high sills that greatly reduce water inflow at mesopelagic depths. For this reason, the entire water column below 400 m is stable and homogeneous with respect to salinity (ca. 34.00) and temperature (ca. 10 °C). The neighbouring Celebes Sea is more open, and highly influenced by Pacific waters at comparable depths. The abundance, diversity, and community structure of pelagic cnidarians was investigated in both seas in February 2000. Cnidarian abundance was similar in both sampling locations, but species diversity was lower in the Sulu Sea, especially at mesopelagic depths. At the surface, the cnidarian community was similar in both marginal seas, but, at depth, community structure was dependent first on sampling location and then on depth within each Sea. Cnidarians showed different patterns of dominance at the two sampling locations, with Sulu Sea communities often dominated by species that are rare elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific. Mesopelagic and bathypelagic species recorded in the Sulu Sea did not have significantly different vertical distributions in the Celebes Sea. However, some deep mesopelagic genera were absent from the Sulu Sea in the sampled depth range. These results suggest that a combination of environmental and physiological parameters determine the distribution and dominance of pelagic cnidarians.

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