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

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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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 5:16:51 PM
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Daniela Zeppilli, Lucia Bongiorni, Antonio Cattaneo, Roberto Danovaro, Ricardo Serrao Santos. Meiofauna assemblages of the Condor Seamount (North-East Atlantic Ocean) and adjacent deep-sea sediments. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, Elsevier, 2013, 98 (Part A), pp.87-100. ⟨10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.08.009⟩. ⟨hal-00942159⟩

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