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Patterns of bathymetric zonation of bivalves in the Porcupine Seabight and adjacent Abyssal plain, NE Atlantic

Olabarria, C.. 2005 Patterns of bathymetric zonation of bivalves in the Porcupine Seabight and adjacent Abyssal plain, NE Atlantic. Deep-Sea Research I, 52 (1). 15-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2004.09.005

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Abstract/Summary

Although the organization patterns of fauna in the deep sea have been broadly documented, most studies have focused on the megafauna. Bivalves represent about 10% of the deep-sea macrobenthic fauna, being the third taxon in abundance after polychaetes and peracarid crustaceans. This study, based on a large data set, examined the bathymetric distribution, patterns of zonation and diversity–depth trends of bivalves from the Porcupine Seabight and adjacent Abyssal Plain (NE Atlantic). A total of 131,334 individuals belonging to 76 species were collected between 500 and 4866 m. Most of the species showed broad depth ranges with some ranges extending over more than 3000 m. Furthermore, many species overlapped in their depth distributions. Patterns of zonation were not very strong and faunal change was gradual. Nevertheless, four bathymetric discontinuities, more or less clearly delimited, occurred at about 750, 1900, 2900 and 4100 m. These boundaries indicated five faunistic zones: (1) a zone above 750 m marking the change from shelf species to bathyal species; (2) a zone from 750 to 1900 m that corresponds to the upper and mid-bathyal zones taken together; (3) a lower bathyal zone from 1900 to 2900 m; (4) a transition zone from 2900 to 4100 m where the bathyal fauna meets and overlaps with the abyssal fauna and (5) a truly abyssal zone from approximately 4100–4900 m (the lower depth limit of this study), characterized by the presence of abyssal species with restricted depth ranges and a few specimens of some bathyal species with very broad distributions. The 4100 m boundary marked the lower limit of distribution of many bathyal species. There was a pattern of increasing diversity downslope from 500 to 1600 m, followed by a decrease to minimum values at about 2700 m. This drop in diversity was followed by an increase up to maximum values at 4100 m and then again, a fall to 4900 m (the lower depth limit in this study)

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2004.09.005
Additional Keywords: bivalves, zonation patterns, vertical distribution, diversity, deep sea, NE Atlantic
Date made live: 17 Mar 2005 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/114880

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