The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Patterns in polychaete abundance and diversity from the Madeira Abyssal Plain, northeast Atlantic

Glover, A., Paterson, G., Bett, B., Gage, J., Sibuet, M., Sheader, M. and Hawkins, L. (2001) Patterns in polychaete abundance and diversity from the Madeira Abyssal Plain, northeast Atlantic Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 48, (1), pp. 217-236. (doi:10.1016/S0967-0637(00)00053-4).

Record type: Article


Polychaete abundance and diversity patterns from the Madeira Abyssal Plain (MAP) were studied together with data from three other sites on the northeastern Atlantic abyssal plains. Polychaete abundance at MAP was significantly lower than at any of the other sites, including those lying under comparable productivity regimes. Analysis of diversity, using rarefaction and species counts per unit area, suggests that MAP is extremely species poor and shows dominance by a few common species. The MAP site is characterised by a superficial layer of turbidite sediment, and the hypothesis is put forward that the unusual sediment characteristics at MAP have affected macrofaunal abundance over a vast area (>2000 km2). Analysis of species composition indicates that the MAP site is not faunistically unique; rather it contains a high proportion of widespread, abundant, cosmopolitan species. We suggest that these are the opportunists of the abyssal benthic habitat. Differences in abundance between the other abyssal sites are the result of both productivity and local environmental conditions. Equitability at the other north Atlantic sites is not affected by productivity, although the actual number of species per unit area is affected, showing a south–north gradient.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2001
Keywords: Deep sea, Polychaeta, Productivity, Turbidite, Biodiversity, Biogeography, Northeast Atlantic, Madeira Abyssal Plain


Local EPrints ID: 1361
ISSN: 0967-0637
PURE UUID: 86cf2339-21c8-4e2e-96c8-e404fab67eee
ORCID for L. Hawkins: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Apr 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:16

Export record



Author: A. Glover
Author: G. Paterson
Author: B. Bett
Author: J. Gage
Author: M. Sibuet
Author: M. Sheader
Author: L. Hawkins ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.