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Deep sea benthic assemblages of the Galicia Bank: effects of seamount environmental variables

AuthorsSerrano, Alberto; Cartes, Joan Enric ; Papiol, Vanesa ; Ruiz-Villarreal, M.
KeywordsVulnerable habitats
Marine protected areas
Benthic assemblages
Deep sea
Issue Date12-Apr-2012
CitationXIII International Symposium on Oceanography of the Bay of Biscay. ISOBAY 13. Book of abstracts: 96 (2012)
AbstractThe INDEMARES project deals with the study of 11 marine areas in the Spanish EEZ, aiming to obtain the necessary information to identify valuable areas for Natura 2000 Network. Galicia Bank, a large seamount located at 150 miles far from the west coast of Galicia, is one of these selected areas. This deep seamount has a flat summit with slight slopes from 600 m to the bank break around 1000 m. Deeper 1500 m on its western flank, slope increases sharply until it reaches the abyssal plain 5000 m. Epibenthic fauna was collected with a beam trawl whereas demersal fauna were collected with a GOC73 otter trawl. A total of 372 species were identified until now (113 fishes, 67 crustaceans, 50 cnidarians, 48 molluscs, 28 porifera, 27 echinoderms, 25 annelids and 14 belonging to other taxa). Multivariate analyses show the existence of 4 benthic assemblages. The shallowest one (750–780 m) is dwelled by epibenthic fauna characterised by a still unidentified ophiuroid, the solitary corals Deltocyathus moseleyi and Flabellum chuni, the bivalve Limopsis minuta the fishes Hoplostethus mediterraneus, Mora moro and Lepidion eques, and the crab Cancer bellianus. The second assembla-ge (780–1000 m) is characterised by cold-water coral communities dominated by Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata, and an associated fauna of solitary corals (Desmophyllum dianthus), small crustaceans (Uroptychus spp., Munidopsis spp.) and antipatharians.These two assemblages are located on the flat sedimentary area of the bank summit, with low organic matter content and sandy sediments. The third assemblage, located on the bank break (1000–1100 m), in carbonate sea-floor areas with scarce sedimentary coverage, is typified by benthopelagic shrimps (Systellaspis debilis, Sergia robusta, Aristaeopsis edwardsianus), the sponge Thenea muricata, the urchin Cidaris cidaris, the fish Alepocephalus bairdii and the shark Scymnodon ringens. Finally, the deepest assemblage dwell in muddy sediments of the flanks of the bank (1500–1800 m), and it is dominated by a still unidentified elasipodid holothurid, the giant sea spider Colossendeis colossea and the crab Neolithodes grimaldii, for epibenthos, and for deep slope fishes as Alepocephalus bairdii, Coelorhynchus labiatus, Coryphaenoides guentheri, Conocara macropterum, and Rouleina attrita. The three summit assem-blages are associated to the Mediterranean outflow waters (MOW), whereas the flank assemblage is affected by the Labrador Sea Water (LSW)
DescriptionSerrano, A. ... et. al.-- XIII International Symposium on Oceanography of the Bay of Biscay. ISOBAY 13, 11-13 April 2012, Santander, Spain
Publisher version (URL)http://www.ieo-santander.net/isobay13/program.php
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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