Temporal and spatial variation in the Nazaré Canyon (Western Iberian margin): Inter-annual and canyon heterogeneity effects on meiofauna biomass and diversity

Ramalho, SP; Adao, H; Kiriakoulakis, K; Wolff, GA; Vanreusel, A; Ingels, J. 2014 Temporal and spatial variation in the Nazaré Canyon (Western Iberian margin): Inter-annual and canyon heterogeneity effects on meiofauna biomass and diversity. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 83. 102-114. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2013.09.010

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Abstract/Summary

The Nazaré Canyon on the Portuguese Margin (NE Atlantic) was sampled during spring-summer for three consecutive years (2005–2007), permitting the first inter-annual study of the meiofaunal communities at the Iberian Margin at two abyssal depths (~3500 m and ~4400 m). Using new and already published data, the meiofauna standing stocks (abundance and biomass) and nematode structural and functional diversity were investigated in relation to the sediment biogeochemistry (e.g. organic carbon, nitrogen, chlorophyll a, phaeopigments) and grain size. A conspicuous increase in sand content from 2005 to 2006 and decrease of phytodetritus at both sites, suggested the occurrence of one or more physical disturbance events. Nematode standing stocks and trophic diversity decreased after these events, seemingly followed by a recovery/recolonisation period in 2007, which was strongly correlated with an increase in the quantity and bioavailability of phytodetrital organic matter supplied. Changes in meiofauna assemblages, however, also differed between stations, likely because of the contrasting hydrodynamic and food supply conditions. Higher meiofauna and nematode abundances, biomass and trophic complexity were found at the shallowest canyon station, where the quantity, quality and bioavailability of food material were higher than at the deeper site. The present results suggest that even though inter-annual variations in the sedimentary environment can regulate the meiofauna in the abyssal Nazaré Canyon, heterogeneity between sampling locations in the canyon were more pronounced.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Meiofauna Nematodes Community structure Biomass Environmental conditions Inter-annual variation Submarine canyon Nazaré NE Atlantic
Subjects: Biology
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Life Support Systems
Depositing User: Jeroen Ingels
Date made live: 02 Jun 2014 14:38
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:11
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/5974

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