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Spatial and temporal variation in the abundance, distribution and population structure of epibenthic megafauna in Port Foster, Deception Island

Cranmer, T.L.; Ruhl, H.A.; Baldwin, R.J.; Kaufmann, R.S.. 2003 Spatial and temporal variation in the abundance, distribution and population structure of epibenthic megafauna in Port Foster, Deception Island. Deep-Sea Research II, 50 (10-11). 1821-1842. 10.1016/S0967-0645(03)00093-6

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Abstract/Summary

Abundance and spatial distribution of epibenthic megafauna were examined at Port Foster, Deception Island, five times between March 1999 and November 2000. Camera sled surveys and bottom trawls were used to identify and collect specimens, and camera sled photographs also were used to determine abundances and spatial distributions for each species. The ophiuroid Ophionotus victoriae, the regular echinoid Sterechinus neumayeri, and one or more species of Porifera were the most abundant taxa during this sampling period. Abundances of O. victoriae varied throughout the annual cycle, peaking in June 2000, and were correlated positively with sedimentation rates. In contrast, abundances of S. neumayeri were consistent throughout the sampling period, except for a peak in June 2000, during austral winter. Peak abundances for both species coincided with a large number of small individuals, indicating apparent recruitment events for O. victoriae and S. neumayeri during this time period. Poriferans, as a group, had statistically similar abundances during each sampling period. Low-abundance species tended to be aggregated on both small and large spatial scales, their distributions probably influenced by reproductive method, gregarious settlement, and food availability. The spatial distribution of S. neumayeri in June 2000 and O. victoriae was random across multiple spatial scales, perhaps in response to food availability and broad environmental tolerances, respectively.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/S0967-0645(03)00093-6
ISSN: 0967-0645
Date made live: 23 Dec 2009 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/171800

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