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Meiobenthos from biogenic structures of the abyssal time-series station in the NE Pacific (Station M)
Lampadariou, N.; Syranidou, E.; Sevastou, K.; Tselepides, A. (2019). Meiobenthos from biogenic structures of the abyssal time-series station in the NE Pacific (Station M). Deep-Sea Res., Part II, Top. Stud. Oceanogr. In Press(Corrected Proof): 104720.
In: Deep-Sea Research, Part II. Topical Studies in Oceanography. Pergamon: Oxford. ISSN 0967-0645; e-ISSN 1879-0100, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Deep sea; Biogenic structures; Meiofauna; Nematoda; Pacific; Station M

Authors  Top 
  • Lampadariou, N., more
  • Syranidou, E.
  • Sevastou, K.
  • Tselepides, A., more

    Feeding, burrowing, locomotion and death of larger organisms can significantly modify the appearance, texture and habitat conditions of the sediment surface. Such modifications create visible biogenic structures and associated microhabitats, which may have negative and/or positive effects on small-sized benthic communities. A series of dives with the submersible ALVIN was undertaken at the long-term monitoring Station M (4000 m, NE Pacific) in August 2006 to investigate, among other things, the influence of different biogenic structures on meiofauna and nematode assemblages. Five different biogenic structures were sampled; the tracks of two different species of sea urchins (Cystocrepis and Echinocrepis), one bioturbation mound, one decomposing kelp aggregate and one sponge. These were compared to a number of control samples taken away from the influence of the biogenic structures. Meiofauna ranged between 241 and 1277 ind per 10 cm2 and was dominated by nematodes, with their contribution ranging from 74% to 89%. The comparison of the meiofauna communities from the biogenic structures and the control samples indicated differences between microhabitats for meiofaunal composition and nematode functional groups, which were due to differences between the microhabitats at the mound. The bioturbation mound and the control area hosted the highest number of nematode genera, though statistical analysis did not indicate significant differences. Beta diversity analysis revealed higher variability of meiofauna between than within different biogenic structures, suggesting habitat heterogeneity that may contribute substantially to the overall deep-sea richness. It may be concluded that among the studied biogenic structures, the bioturbation mound appears to be critical in shaping deep-sea meiobenthic communities.

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