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Polychaete species diversity in the central Pacific abyss: Local and regional patterns and relationships with productivity

Polychaete species diversity in the central Pacific abyss: Local and regional patterns and relationships with productivity
Polychaete species diversity in the central Pacific abyss: Local and regional patterns and relationships with productivity
We investigated the relationship between productivity and local species diversity, and the degree of species turnover, at 8 sites on the central equatorial Pacific abyssal plain. The 8 sites span a 4-fold difference in seafloor particulate organic carbon (POC) flux and, hence, community productivity. The sites are similar in water depth (4300 to 5100 m), degree of isolation from terrigenous influences, and hydrodynamic regime. Three sites lie under the influence of equatorial upwelling, and are subject to enhanced deep POC flux derived from high overlying primary production.
The remaining sites lie beneath the oligotrophic north Pacific gyre. The number of polychaete species collected at a single site ranged from 14 to 113, with at least 90% apparently being new to science. We found no evidence for the purported unimodal relationship between productivity and diversity seen in other ecosystems, including deep-sea slopes, and found only weak evidence of a monotonic increase in diversity with productivity. Rates of species turnover were low over scales of ~200 to 3000 km for the dominant polychaete species in the communities, and all sites were dominated by a core group of biogeographically widespread, locally abundant species. In contrast, there was little between-site similarity in the long list of rare species found at each site, implying either a high turnover of rare species at 200 to 3000 km scales, or incomplete sampling of the rare species list at each site. More intensive sampling studies using both morphological and molecular methods are needed to resolve the distribution patterns of rare species in the Pacific abyss. Local polychaete species diversity beneath equatorial Pacific upwelling (measured by rarefaction) appears to be unusually high for the deep sea, exceeding by at least 10 to 20% that measured in abyssal sites in the Atlantic and Pacific, and on the continental slopes of the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
polychaetes, pacific, species diversity, carbon flux, productivity, species turnover, alpha diversity, beta diversity
0171-8630
157-170
Glover, A.G.
d02f152a-95ac-4398-b6c0-bb09a57741e2
Smith, C.R.
4438caca-acef-42d2-a57b-1a1b3c1f8f27
Paterson, G.L.J.
a08361d0-a82a-4012-a8e9-85a0bcd1af9d
Wilson, G.D.F.
947d5ad9-e1e6-4271-8500-9b4fef1d3131
Hawkins, L.
9c4d1845-82db-4305-acb5-31b218ac9c0e
Sheader, M.
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Glover, A.G., Smith, C.R., Paterson, G.L.J., Wilson, G.D.F., Hawkins, L. and Sheader, M. (2002) Polychaete species diversity in the central Pacific abyss: Local and regional patterns and relationships with productivity Marine Ecology Progress Series, 240, pp. 157-170. (doi:10.3354/meps240157).

Glover, A.G., Smith, C.R., Paterson, G.L.J., Wilson, G.D.F., Hawkins, L. and Sheader, M. (2002) Polychaete species diversity in the central Pacific abyss: Local and regional patterns and relationships with productivity Marine Ecology Progress Series, 240, pp. 157-170. (doi:10.3354/meps240157).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We investigated the relationship between productivity and local species diversity, and the degree of species turnover, at 8 sites on the central equatorial Pacific abyssal plain. The 8 sites span a 4-fold difference in seafloor particulate organic carbon (POC) flux and, hence, community productivity. The sites are similar in water depth (4300 to 5100 m), degree of isolation from terrigenous influences, and hydrodynamic regime. Three sites lie under the influence of equatorial upwelling, and are subject to enhanced deep POC flux derived from high overlying primary production.
The remaining sites lie beneath the oligotrophic north Pacific gyre. The number of polychaete species collected at a single site ranged from 14 to 113, with at least 90% apparently being new to science. We found no evidence for the purported unimodal relationship between productivity and diversity seen in other ecosystems, including deep-sea slopes, and found only weak evidence of a monotonic increase in diversity with productivity. Rates of species turnover were low over scales of ~200 to 3000 km for the dominant polychaete species in the communities, and all sites were dominated by a core group of biogeographically widespread, locally abundant species. In contrast, there was little between-site similarity in the long list of rare species found at each site, implying either a high turnover of rare species at 200 to 3000 km scales, or incomplete sampling of the rare species list at each site. More intensive sampling studies using both morphological and molecular methods are needed to resolve the distribution patterns of rare species in the Pacific abyss. Local polychaete species diversity beneath equatorial Pacific upwelling (measured by rarefaction) appears to be unusually high for the deep sea, exceeding by at least 10 to 20% that measured in abyssal sites in the Atlantic and Pacific, and on the continental slopes of the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

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More information

Published date: 12 September 2002
Keywords: polychaetes, pacific, species diversity, carbon flux, productivity, species turnover, alpha diversity, beta diversity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 2178
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/2178
ISSN: 0171-8630
PURE UUID: 7d7cf8db-4c78-426c-9e5a-ca308335d5aa
ORCID for L. Hawkins: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9236-2396

Catalogue record

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

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Contributors

Author: A.G. Glover
Author: C.R. Smith
Author: G.L.J. Paterson
Author: G.D.F. Wilson
Author: L. Hawkins ORCID iD
Author: M. Sheader

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