IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Landscape-scale spatial heterogeneity in phytodetrital cover and megafauna biomass in the abyss links to modest topographic variation
Morris, K.J.; Bett, B.J.; Durden, J.M.; Benoist, N.M.A.; Huvenne, V.A.I.; Jones, D.O.B.; Robert, K.; Ichino, M.C.; Wolff, G.A.; Ruhl, H.A. (2016). Landscape-scale spatial heterogeneity in phytodetrital cover and megafauna biomass in the abyss links to modest topographic variation. NPG Scientific Reports 6(34080 ): 10 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep34080
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Morris, K.J.
  • Bett, B.J., more
  • Durden, J.M.
  • Benoist, N.M.A.
  • Huvenne, V.A.I., more
  • Jones, D.O.B.
  • Robert, K.
  • Ichino, M.C.
  • Wolff, G.A., more
  • Ruhl, H.A.

Abstract
    Sinking particulate organic matter (POM, phytodetritus) is the principal limiting resource for deep-sea life. However, little is known about spatial variation in POM supply to the abyssal seafloor, which is frequently assumed to be homogenous. In reality, the abyss has a highly complex landscape with millions of hills and mountains. Here, we show a significant increase in seabed POM % cover (by ~1.05 times), and a large significant increase in megafauna biomass (by ~2.5 times), on abyssal hill terrain in comparison to the surrounding plain. These differences are substantially greater than predicted by current models linking water depth to POM supply or benthic biomass. Our observed variations in POM % cover (phytodetritus), megafauna biomass, sediment total organic carbon and total nitrogen, sedimentology, and benthic boundary layer turbidity, all appear to be consistent with topographically enhanced current speeds driving these enhancements. The effects are detectable with bathymetric elevations of only 10 s of metres above the surrounding plain. These results imply considerable unquantified heterogeneity in global ecology.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors