||Menot Lenaick1, 2, Crassous Philippe1, Desbruyeres Daniel1, Galeron Joelle1, Khripounoff Alexis1, Sibuet M.2
||1 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, Dept DEEP LEP, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : Inst Oceanog, Paris, France.
||Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography (0967-0645) (Elsevier), 2009-11 , Vol. 56 , N. 23 , P. 2313-2325
|WOS© Times Cited
||Diversity, Organic enrichment, Macrofauna, Deep sea, Colonization, Biozaire
||In the framework of the deep-sea environmental programme BIOZAIRE (Ifremer-Total), colonization trays were deployed for 283-433 days at three sites along the equatorial West African margin: ZA at 1300-m depth, ZC at 4000-m depth far from the Congo canyon and ZD at 4000-m depth close to the Congo canyon. The experiments aimed at determining the influence of depth and local environmental settings on macrofaunal colonization patterns and organic carbon degradation rates. The trays were filled with glass beads and this artificial substrate was enriched with ground particulate organic matter in a gradient of 0%, 0.34%, 1.02% and 3.43% organic carbon. The highest rates of organic carbon degradation ranged, according to the duration of the experiments, from 1.59 to 2.36 gC m(-2) day(-1) but were independent of depth or location. Colonization rates, conversely, varied by one order of magnitude between bathyal and abyssal experiments. The influence of experimental treatments on the structure of the colonizing macrofauna also varied according to location and depth. At ZA, colonization patterns were highly predictable and driven by a shift in dominance of opportunistic taxa along the enrichment gradient. To a lesser extent, this was also true at ZD, near the Congo canyon, while at ZC the treatments had no significant effect on the composition of the colonizing fauna. At abyssal depth, high rates of organic matter degradation associated with low rates of colonization suggested that pulse of organic matter would mainly benefit the resident community. At bathyal depth, high colonization rates of a specialized fauna might conversely play an important role in the functioning of the ecosystem. The regional and local coexistence of an opportunistic fauna via a spatial storage effect associated with dispersal might significantly contribute to the maintenance of high diversity on continental margins.