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The bathypelagic Decapoda, Lophogastrida, and Mysida of the eastern Gulf of Mexico
Burghart, S.E.; Hopkins, T.L.; Torres, J.J. (2007). The bathypelagic Decapoda, Lophogastrida, and Mysida of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 152(2): 315-327.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Burghart, S.E.
  • Hopkins, T.L.
  • Torres, J.J.

    The Earth’s greatest living space is found in the bathypelagic zone of the oceans (depths >1,000 m), yet little research has been dedicated to these ecosystems. The micronekton of the bathypelagic zone in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (EGOM) was investigated with the goal of comparing its community structure with that of the well-studied mesopelagic micronekton. Herein is described a portion of that community, specifically species belonging to the orders Lophogastrida, Mysida, and Decapoda. A total of 46 species were collected, most of which have broad zoogeographic distributions. Seventeen of the species had not previously been collected above 1,000 m in the same location despite over 20 years of sampling. Compared to the mesopelagic zone, the bathypelagic community showed increased contributions to abundance and estimated biomass from the Oplophoridae and Eucopiidae, with a simultaneous decrease in the importance of the Dendrobranchiata. In addition, the bathypelagic zone was distinguished by a relatively high percentage of individuals that brood their eggs (77% vs. 15% in the mesopelagic zone). The results are interpreted as evidence that the bathypelagic zone contains a distinct pelagic community, with a biology and ecology fundamentally different from that of the mesopelagic zone.

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