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Wilhelmshaven, Germany

George K.H.,Senckenberg Am Meer Abt. DZMB | Veit-Kohler G.,Senckenberg Am Meer Abt. DZMB | Arbizu P.M.,Senckenberg Am Meer Abt. DZMB | Seifried S.,Carl von Ossietzky University | And 8 more authors.
Organisms Diversity and Evolution | Year: 2014

The aim of this study was to evaluate compositional differences between harpacticoid (Crustacea, Copepoda) assemblages at two widely separated abyssal locations. During the DIVA 1 cruise of RV METEOR (July/August 2000) to the Angola Basin (Southeast Atlantic), two deep-sea stations, approximately 300 nautical miles apart (Stations 325 and 346), were sampled repeatedly by Multicorer (MUC). For quantitative analyses, 5 MUC samples were selected at random from each of 15 deployments at both stations, totalling 75 cores. Across the study, 7,081 Harpacticoida specimens were encountered and of these 31.4 % were adults and could be analysed to species level: 682 species were identified, with 99.3 % new to science. At northern Station 346, a total of 600 species were recorded - the highest harpacticoid species number ever recorded for a single deep-sea locality. Most species (56 %) were represented by singletons. Multivariate tests identified significant differences between community compositions at the two stations. Diversity, species richness and species density were higher at Station 346, whilst taxonomic distinctness, evenness, and rarefaction were similar between stations. Regression and correlation analyses showed that the difference in species diversity was best explained by species densities rather than species richness. Under-sampling due to low densities was an issue at the southern Station 325. Nevertheless, our study demonstrated significant differences in regional-scale harpacticoid community structures within a single deep-sea basin that would usually be considered a uniform and stable habitat. These observed differences are thought to reflect differences in food availability at the two stations. © 2013 Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik. Source

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