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Are abyssal scavenging amphipod assemblages linked to climate cycles?

Are abyssal scavenging amphipod assemblages linked to climate cycles?
Are abyssal scavenging amphipod assemblages linked to climate cycles?
Scavenging amphipods are a numerically dominant and taxonomically diverse group that are key necrophages in deep-sea environments. They contribute to the detrital food web by scavenging large food-falls and provide a food source for other organisms, at bathyal and abyssal depths. Samples of this assemblage have been collected at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory (PAP-SO) in the North Atlantic (48°50′N 16°30′W, 4850 m) for >30 years. They were collected by means of baited traps between 1985 and 2016, covering a period of well-characterised changes in the upper ocean. From the 19 samples analysed, a total of 16 taxa were identified from 106,261 specimens. Four taxa, Abyssorchomene chevreuxi (Stebbing, 1906), Paralicella tenuipes Chevreux, 1908, P. caperesca Shulenberger & Barnard, 1976, and Eurythenes spp., dominated catches and were present in all samples. The dominant species varied in time with P. tenuipes typically dominant early in the time series (1985–1997) and its congener, P. caperesca, typically dominant later (2011–2016). Amphipod faunal composition exhibited a significant correlation with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). Amphipod diversity was significantly lower in years with higher estimated volumetric particle flux at 3000 m. Species richness varied significantly between AMO phases, with higher values during ‘cool’ phase. Our results suggest a ‘regime shift’ in scavenging amphipod communities following a ‘regime shift’ in surface ocean conditions driven by a phase shift in Atlantic climate (from cool to warm AMO). This shift manifests itself in a remarkable change in dominant species, from obligate necrophages such as Paralicella spp., with semelparous reproduction to Abyssorchomene spp. which have a more varied diet and iteroparous reproduction, and are thus potentially more able to take advantage of greater or varied food availability from increased organic matter flux to the abyssal seafloor.
Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation, Benthos, Particulate flux, Porcupine Abyssal Plain, North Atlantic, Time series analysis, Trap fishing
0079-6611
Horton, Tammy
c4b41665-f0bc-4f0f-a7af-b2b9afc02e34
Thurston, Michael H.
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Vlierboom, Rianna
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Gutteridge, Zoe
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Pebody, Corinne A.
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Gates, Andrew R.
327a3cc6-2e53-4090-9f96-219461087be9
Bett, Brian J.
61342990-13be-45ae-9f5c-9540114335d9
Horton, Tammy
c4b41665-f0bc-4f0f-a7af-b2b9afc02e34
Thurston, Michael H.
f23a596e-f311-4ca9-87d5-c1c56730eb19
Vlierboom, Rianna
18c00cf6-ce70-4460-a0cf-913ccb557874
Gutteridge, Zoe
aef454db-35b7-4c8d-90ef-773fc1991a69
Pebody, Corinne A.
47fe67d5-0b13-42a9-8af3-6246578f7fa1
Gates, Andrew R.
327a3cc6-2e53-4090-9f96-219461087be9
Bett, Brian J.
61342990-13be-45ae-9f5c-9540114335d9

Horton, Tammy, Thurston, Michael H., Vlierboom, Rianna, Gutteridge, Zoe, Pebody, Corinne A., Gates, Andrew R. and Bett, Brian J. (2020) Are abyssal scavenging amphipod assemblages linked to climate cycles? Progress in Oceanography, 184, [102318]. (doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2020.102318).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Scavenging amphipods are a numerically dominant and taxonomically diverse group that are key necrophages in deep-sea environments. They contribute to the detrital food web by scavenging large food-falls and provide a food source for other organisms, at bathyal and abyssal depths. Samples of this assemblage have been collected at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory (PAP-SO) in the North Atlantic (48°50′N 16°30′W, 4850 m) for >30 years. They were collected by means of baited traps between 1985 and 2016, covering a period of well-characterised changes in the upper ocean. From the 19 samples analysed, a total of 16 taxa were identified from 106,261 specimens. Four taxa, Abyssorchomene chevreuxi (Stebbing, 1906), Paralicella tenuipes Chevreux, 1908, P. caperesca Shulenberger & Barnard, 1976, and Eurythenes spp., dominated catches and were present in all samples. The dominant species varied in time with P. tenuipes typically dominant early in the time series (1985–1997) and its congener, P. caperesca, typically dominant later (2011–2016). Amphipod faunal composition exhibited a significant correlation with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). Amphipod diversity was significantly lower in years with higher estimated volumetric particle flux at 3000 m. Species richness varied significantly between AMO phases, with higher values during ‘cool’ phase. Our results suggest a ‘regime shift’ in scavenging amphipod communities following a ‘regime shift’ in surface ocean conditions driven by a phase shift in Atlantic climate (from cool to warm AMO). This shift manifests itself in a remarkable change in dominant species, from obligate necrophages such as Paralicella spp., with semelparous reproduction to Abyssorchomene spp. which have a more varied diet and iteroparous reproduction, and are thus potentially more able to take advantage of greater or varied food availability from increased organic matter flux to the abyssal seafloor.

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Accepted/In Press date: 25 March 2020
Published date: 1 May 2020
Keywords: Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation, Benthos, Particulate flux, Porcupine Abyssal Plain, North Atlantic, Time series analysis, Trap fishing

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444454
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444454
ISSN: 0079-6611
PURE UUID: 501d04d9-6ea4-4508-89fb-aff46f281e4f

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Date deposited: 20 Oct 2020 16:30
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 19:37

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Contributors

Author: Tammy Horton
Author: Michael H. Thurston
Author: Rianna Vlierboom
Author: Zoe Gutteridge
Author: Corinne A. Pebody
Author: Andrew R. Gates
Author: Brian J. Bett

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