Observations of fauna attending wood and bone deployments from two seamounts on the Southwest Indian Ridge

Amon, Diva J., Copley, Jonathan T., Dahlgren, Thomas G., Horton, Tammy, Kemp, Kirsty M., Rogers, Alex D. and Glover, Adrian G. (2015) Observations of fauna attending wood and bone deployments from two seamounts on the Southwest Indian Ridge Deep-Sea Research II, 136, 122–132. (doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.07.003).


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The Southwest Indian Ridge is an ultraslow-spreading mid-ocean ridge with numerous poorly-explored seamounts. The benthic fauna of seamounts are thought to be highly heterogeneous, within even small geographic areas. Here we report observations from a two-year opportunistic experiment, which was comprised of two deployments of mango wood and whale bones. One was deployed at 732 m on Coral Seamount (~32 °S) and the other at 750 m on Atlantis Bank (~41 °S), two areas with little background faunal knowledge and a significant distance from the continental shelf. The packages mimic natural organic falls, large parcels of food on the deep-sea floor that are important in fulfilling the nutritional needs and providing shelter and substratum for many deep-sea animals. A large number of species colonised the deployments: 69 species at Coral Seamount and 42 species at Atlantis Bank. The two colonising assemblages were different, however, with only 11 species in common. This is suggestive of both differing environmental conditions and potentially, barriers to dispersal between these seamounts. Apart from Xylophaga and Idas bivalves, few organic-fall specialists were present. Several putative new species have been observed, and three new species have been described from the experiments thus far. It is not clear, however, whether this is indicative of high degrees of endemism or simply a result of under-sampling at the regional level.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.07.003
ISSNs: 0967-0645 (print)
Keywords: Whale fall, Wood fall, Organic fall, Seamount, Deep sea, Idas, Xylophaga
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Biogeochemistry
ePrint ID: 385772
Date :
Date Event
17 July 2015Accepted/In Press
25 February 2017Published
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2016 15:03
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 04:29
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385772

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