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Inter-annual species-level variations in an abyssal polychaete assemblage (Sta. M, NE Pacific, 4000 m)

Inter-annual species-level variations in an abyssal polychaete assemblage (Sta. M, NE Pacific, 4000 m)
Inter-annual species-level variations in an abyssal polychaete assemblage (Sta. M, NE Pacific, 4000 m)
Understanding the dynamics of abyssal community structure and function has become increasingly important as deep-sea resource exploitation and climate change pressures are expected to ramp up. This time-series study investigates macrofaunal polychaete dynamics at a station in the North East Pacific (Sta. M; 35? N 123? W, 4000 m, 1991-2011). Infaunal polychaete species were identified and their proxy biomass and proxy energy use rate estimated. The assemblage comprised 167 species, having a composition consistent with other abyssal areas globally. Significant changes in univariate and multivariate parameters (rank abundance distribution, Simpson’s diversity index, and species and functional group composition) were detected across 1991-2011. However, no change in biomass or energy use rate was apparent through the time-series. The largest changes in the polychaete assemblage coincided with both an increase in sinking particulate organic carbon flux to the seafloor in 2007, and a 40 km relocation of the sampling location to a site 100 m shallower, preventing a conclusive assessment of which might drive the observed variation. Analyses prior to the change of sampling location showed that the polychaete assemblage composition dynamics were primary driven by food supply variation. Changes in several species were also lagged to changes in POC flux by 4 to 10 months. The polychaete fauna exhibited a significant positive relationship between total density and total energy use rate, suggesting population-level tracking of a common resource (e.g. POC flux food supply). Neither compensatory nor energetic zero-sum dynamics were detected among the polychaete assemblage, but the results suggest that the latter occur in the macrofaunal community as a whole. The results do indicate (a) potential control of species composition, and the density of individual key species, by food supply, when the time-series prior to the sampling location was analysed separately, and (b) generally sensitive detection of environmental change by species-level analysis of the abyssal polychaete assemblage.
Deep sea, Polychaeta, Time-series, Ecology, Abyssal, Compensatory dynamics, Zero-sum dynamics
0079-6611
43-53
Laguionie-Marchais, Claire
197d953c-d315-4b73-a590-6b5f4894987e
Paterson, Gordon L.J.
89e5407e-14a9-49f8-a5ca-971e1a9cb991
Bett, Brian J.
61342990-13be-45ae-9f5c-9540114335d9
Smith, Kenneth L.
c282f721-59cf-4caa-a344-f4a26f6b534c
Ruhl, Henry A.
177608ef-7793-4911-86cf-cd9960ff22b6
Laguionie-Marchais, Claire
197d953c-d315-4b73-a590-6b5f4894987e
Paterson, Gordon L.J.
89e5407e-14a9-49f8-a5ca-971e1a9cb991
Bett, Brian J.
61342990-13be-45ae-9f5c-9540114335d9
Smith, Kenneth L.
c282f721-59cf-4caa-a344-f4a26f6b534c
Ruhl, Henry A.
177608ef-7793-4911-86cf-cd9960ff22b6

Laguionie-Marchais, Claire, Paterson, Gordon L.J., Bett, Brian J., Smith, Kenneth L. and Ruhl, Henry A. (2016) Inter-annual species-level variations in an abyssal polychaete assemblage (Sta. M, NE Pacific, 4000 m). Progress in Oceanography, 140, 43-53. (doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2015.10.006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Understanding the dynamics of abyssal community structure and function has become increasingly important as deep-sea resource exploitation and climate change pressures are expected to ramp up. This time-series study investigates macrofaunal polychaete dynamics at a station in the North East Pacific (Sta. M; 35? N 123? W, 4000 m, 1991-2011). Infaunal polychaete species were identified and their proxy biomass and proxy energy use rate estimated. The assemblage comprised 167 species, having a composition consistent with other abyssal areas globally. Significant changes in univariate and multivariate parameters (rank abundance distribution, Simpson’s diversity index, and species and functional group composition) were detected across 1991-2011. However, no change in biomass or energy use rate was apparent through the time-series. The largest changes in the polychaete assemblage coincided with both an increase in sinking particulate organic carbon flux to the seafloor in 2007, and a 40 km relocation of the sampling location to a site 100 m shallower, preventing a conclusive assessment of which might drive the observed variation. Analyses prior to the change of sampling location showed that the polychaete assemblage composition dynamics were primary driven by food supply variation. Changes in several species were also lagged to changes in POC flux by 4 to 10 months. The polychaete fauna exhibited a significant positive relationship between total density and total energy use rate, suggesting population-level tracking of a common resource (e.g. POC flux food supply). Neither compensatory nor energetic zero-sum dynamics were detected among the polychaete assemblage, but the results suggest that the latter occur in the macrofaunal community as a whole. The results do indicate (a) potential control of species composition, and the density of individual key species, by food supply, when the time-series prior to the sampling location was analysed separately, and (b) generally sensitive detection of environmental change by species-level analysis of the abyssal polychaete assemblage.

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Accepted/In Press date: November 2015
Published date: January 2016
Keywords: Deep sea, Polychaeta, Time-series, Ecology, Abyssal, Compensatory dynamics, Zero-sum dynamics
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Biogeochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 383945
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383945
ISSN: 0079-6611
PURE UUID: 30f39a7c-fcb5-4e88-85cb-afa1cb26d790

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Date deposited: 12 Nov 2015 11:43
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 09:50

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Contributors

Author: Claire Laguionie-Marchais
Author: Gordon L.J. Paterson
Author: Brian J. Bett
Author: Kenneth L. Smith
Author: Henry A. Ruhl

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