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Dynamics of the bathyal Benthic Boundary Layer in the northwestern Mediterranean: depth and temporal variations in macrofaunal–megafaunal communities and their possible connections within deep-sea trophic webs

AutorCartes, Joan Enric
Fecha de publicaciónene-1998
CitaciónProgress in Oceanography 41(1): 111-139 (1998)
ResumenThe distribution patterns of benthopelagic fauna and the macrofauna–megafauna trophic relationships in the Benthic Boundary Layer (BBL) were studied. The study is based on data collected during 6 sampling cruises off the Catalan coast (western Mediterranean) during 1991–1995 at depths ranging from 389–1355 m. Crustaceans were the dominant benthopelagic macrofauna in the BBL level closest to the sea bed (˜0–1.5 m above bottom) on the Catalan Sea slope. Copepods and peracarid crustaceans (mysids, amphipods, isopods, and cumaceans) were dominant, whereas euphausiids and natantian decapods, some taxa of gelatinous plankton (siphonophores, medusae, and chaetognaths), and benthopelagic fishes were also well represented groups. Seasonal changes in megafaunal decapod crustaceans abundance seem to be linked to changes in the density and the biological cycle of BBL macrofauna, which constitute an important part of the available food exploited by megafauna. Both the advective and the vertical flow of organic matter in the north-western Mediterranean should simultaneously influence peaks of available food (BBL macrofauna) for bathyal–megafaunal decapods. Recruitment of macrofaunal (suprabenthos and infauna) species at the level of canyons and neighbouring slope zones mainly occurred between late autumn–late winter and would probably be mainly induced by an advective component. However, the macrofaunal sizes consumed by megafaunal decapods are found more abundantly represented in spring and summer populations. In parallel, the vertical fluxes seem to determine maxima in the abundance of planktonic organisms (especially copepods) which also occur in late spring–summer. Size, natatory capability, and energetic value are important factors in the selection of food-resources by megafaunal decapods, which would have a greater availability of food in late spring–summer. This would explain both the seasonal maxima of decapod abundance in summer, and maxima in the catches of some commercial species (i.e. the shrimp Aristeus antennatus) in spring–summer
Descripción29 pages, 4 figures, 10 tables
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0079-6611(98)00018-4
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