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Biological structures as a source of habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity on the deep ocean margins

Biological structures as a source of habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity on the deep ocean margins
Biological structures as a source of habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity on the deep ocean margins
Biological structures exert a major influence on species diversity at both local and regional scales on deep continental margins. Some organisms use other species as substrates for attachment, shelter, feeding or parasitism, but there may also be mutual benefits from the association. Here, we highlight the structural attributes and biotic effects of the habitats that corals, sea pens, sponges and xenophyophores offer other organisms. The environmental setting of the biological structures influences their species composition. The importance of benthic species as substrates seems to increase with depth as the complexity of the surrounding geological substrate and food supply decline. There are marked differences in the degree of mutualistic relationships between habitat-forming taxa. This is especially evident for scleractinian corals, which have high numbers of facultative associates (commensals) and few obligate associates (mutualists), and gorgonians, with their few commensals and many obligate associates. Size, flexibility and architectural complexity of the habitat-forming organism are positively related to species diversity for both sessile and mobile species. This is mainly evident for commensal species sharing a facultative relationship with their host. Habitat complexity is enhanced by the architecture of biological structures, as well as by biological interactions. Colony morphology has a great influence on feeding efficiency for suspension feeders. Suspension feeding, habitat-forming organisms modify the environment to optimize their food uptake. This environmental advantage is also passed on to associated filter-feeding species. These effects are poorly understood but represent key points for understanding ecosystems and biodiversity on continental margins. In this paper we explore the contributions of organisms and the biotic structures they create (rather than physical modifications) to habitat heterogeneity and diversity on the deep continental margins.

0173-9565
21-50
Buhl-Mortensen, Lene
e0774c46-818c-4153-abe8-57796ac739b4
Vanreusel, Ann
29065a5d-c818-44d7-a81a-dac4da45b09e
Gooday, Andrew J.
d9331d67-d518-4cfb-baed-9df3333b05b9
Levin, Lisa A.
44c9684c-86c9-4d3e-9b37-27df96d55f72
Priede, Imants G.
2e513dae-a9dd-45ed-8359-cee7e56e3097
Buhl-Mortensen, Pål
52fccb24-5fca-4733-aee4-9f624b278137
Gheerardyn, Hendrik
f7f7a948-bd79-489b-bd1e-96f26878cc13
King, Nicola J.
4ac618df-7058-426d-be07-b3af24167b8a
Raes, Maarten
b531b286-510b-4df4-a579-838e7c39a052
Buhl-Mortensen, Lene
e0774c46-818c-4153-abe8-57796ac739b4
Vanreusel, Ann
29065a5d-c818-44d7-a81a-dac4da45b09e
Gooday, Andrew J.
d9331d67-d518-4cfb-baed-9df3333b05b9
Levin, Lisa A.
44c9684c-86c9-4d3e-9b37-27df96d55f72
Priede, Imants G.
2e513dae-a9dd-45ed-8359-cee7e56e3097
Buhl-Mortensen, Pål
52fccb24-5fca-4733-aee4-9f624b278137
Gheerardyn, Hendrik
f7f7a948-bd79-489b-bd1e-96f26878cc13
King, Nicola J.
4ac618df-7058-426d-be07-b3af24167b8a
Raes, Maarten
b531b286-510b-4df4-a579-838e7c39a052

Buhl-Mortensen, Lene, Vanreusel, Ann, Gooday, Andrew J., Levin, Lisa A., Priede, Imants G., Buhl-Mortensen, Pål, Gheerardyn, Hendrik, King, Nicola J. and Raes, Maarten (2010) Biological structures as a source of habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity on the deep ocean margins. Marine Ecology, 31 (1), 21-50. (doi:10.1111/j.1439-0485.2010.00359.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Biological structures exert a major influence on species diversity at both local and regional scales on deep continental margins. Some organisms use other species as substrates for attachment, shelter, feeding or parasitism, but there may also be mutual benefits from the association. Here, we highlight the structural attributes and biotic effects of the habitats that corals, sea pens, sponges and xenophyophores offer other organisms. The environmental setting of the biological structures influences their species composition. The importance of benthic species as substrates seems to increase with depth as the complexity of the surrounding geological substrate and food supply decline. There are marked differences in the degree of mutualistic relationships between habitat-forming taxa. This is especially evident for scleractinian corals, which have high numbers of facultative associates (commensals) and few obligate associates (mutualists), and gorgonians, with their few commensals and many obligate associates. Size, flexibility and architectural complexity of the habitat-forming organism are positively related to species diversity for both sessile and mobile species. This is mainly evident for commensal species sharing a facultative relationship with their host. Habitat complexity is enhanced by the architecture of biological structures, as well as by biological interactions. Colony morphology has a great influence on feeding efficiency for suspension feeders. Suspension feeding, habitat-forming organisms modify the environment to optimize their food uptake. This environmental advantage is also passed on to associated filter-feeding species. These effects are poorly understood but represent key points for understanding ecosystems and biodiversity on continental margins. In this paper we explore the contributions of organisms and the biotic structures they create (rather than physical modifications) to habitat heterogeneity and diversity on the deep continental margins.

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More information

Published date: March 2010
Organisations: Marine Biogeochemistry

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Local EPrints ID: 79374
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/79374
ISSN: 0173-9565
PURE UUID: 7c6840d7-d97d-43a3-aba3-cb8668c1bfaf

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Date deposited: 12 Mar 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:17

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