Meiofauna assemblages of the Condor Seamount (North-East Atlantic Ocean) and adjacent deep-sea sediments

Type Article
Date 2013-12
Language English
Author(s) Zeppilli DanielaORCID1, 2, 3, 4, Bongiorni Lucia1, 2, 5, Cattaneo AntonioORCID6, Danovaro Roberto7, Santos R1, 2, 8
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Azores, Ctr IMAR, P-9901862 Horta, Azores, Portugal.
2 : LARSyS Associated Lab, P-9901862 Horta, Azores, Portugal.
3 : Inst Univ Europeen Mer, UMS3113, Observ IUEM, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
4 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, REM EEP, Inst Carnot Ifremer EDROME,ZI Pointe Diable, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
5 : Natl Res Council ISMAR CNR, Inst Marine Sci, I-30122 Venice, Italy.
6 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, Lab Environm Sedimentaires, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
7 : Polytech Univ Marche, Dept Life & Environm Sci, I-60131 Ancona, Italy.
8 : Univ Azores, Dept Ocenog & Fisheries, P-9901862 Horta, Azores, Portugal.
Source Deep-sea Research Part Ii-topical Studies In Oceanography (0967-0645) (Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd), 2013-12 , Vol. 98 , P. 87-100
DOI 10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.08.009
WOS© Times Cited 25
Keyword(s) Condor Seamount, Meiofauna, Biodiversity, Deep-sea sediments, Azores
Abstract Seamounts are currently considered hotspots of biodiversity and biomass for macro- and megabenthic taxa, but knowledge of meiofauna is still limited. Studies have revealed the existence of highly diverse meiofauna assemblages; however most data are mainly qualitative or focused only on specific groups, thus preventing comparisons among seamounts and with other deep-sea areas. This study, conducted on Condor Seamount (Azores, North-East Atlantic Ocean), describes variation in abundance, biomass, community structure and biodiversity of benthic meiofauna from five sites located on the Condor Seamount: and one site away from the seamount. While the summit of the seamount hosted the highest alpha biodiversity, the flanks and the bases showed a rich meiofauna assemblage in terms of abundance and biomass. The observed marked differences in grain size composition of sediments reflected the oceanographic conditions impacting different sectors of the Condor seamount, and could play an important role in the spatial distribution of different meiofaunal taxa. Trophic conditions (biochemical composition of organic matter) explained 78% of the variability in the meiofauna biomass pattern while sediment grain influenced the vertical distribution of meiofauna and only partially explained meiofaunal taxa composition. This study provides a further advancement in the knowledge of meiofaunal communities of seamounts. Only a deeper understanding of the whole benthic communities (including meiofauna) will allow to elaborate effective management and conservation tools for seamount ecosystems.
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