Spatio-temporal variation of macrofaunal assemblages in the deep Blanes submarine canyon

Arca, Claudio (2012) Spatio-temporal variation of macrofaunal assemblages in the deep Blanes submarine canyon. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Biologia marina [LM-DM270] - Ravenna
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The spatio-temporal variations in diversity and abundance of deep-sea macrofaunal assemblages (excluding meiofaunal taxa, as Nematoda, Copepoda and Ostracoda) from the Blanes Canyon (BC) and adjacent open slope are described. The Catalan Sea basin is characterized by the presence of numerous submarine canyons, which are globally acknowledged as biodiversity hot-spots, due to their disturbance regime and incremented conveying of organic matter. This area is subjected to local deep-sea fisheries activities, and to recurrent cold water cascading events from the shelf. The upper canyon (~900 m), middle slope (~1200 m) and lower slope (~1500 m) habitats were investigated during three different months (October 2008, May 2009 and September 2009). A total of 624 specimens belonging to 16 different taxa were found into 67 analyzed samples, which had been collected from the two study areas. Of these, Polychaeta, Mollusca and Crustacea were always the most abundant groups. As expected, the patterns of species diversity and evenness were different in time and space. Both in BC and open slope, taxa diversity and abundance are higher in the shallowest depth and lowest at -1500 m depth. This is probably due to different trophic regimes at these depths. The abundance of filter-feeders is higher inside BC than in the adjacent open slope, which is also related with an increment of predator polychaetes. Surface deposit-feeders are more abundant in the open slope than in BC, along with a decrement of filter-feeders and their predators. Probably these differences are due to higher quantities of suspended organic matter reaching the canyon. The multivariate analyses conducted on major taxa point out major differences effective taxa richness between depths and stations. In September 2009 the analyzed communities double their abundances, with a corresponding increase in richness of taxa. This could be related to a mobilizing event, like the release of accumulated food-supply in a nepheloid layer associated to the arrival of autumn. The highest abundance in BC is detected in the shallowest depth and in late summer (September), probably due to higher food availability caused by stronger flood events coming from Tordera River. The effects of such events seemed to involve adjacent open slope too. The nMDS conducted on major taxa abundance shows a slight temporal difference between the three campaigns samples, with a clear clustering between samples of Sept 09. All depth and all months were dominated by Polychaeta, which have been identified to family level and submitted to further analysis. Family richness have clearly minimum at the -1200 m depth of BC, highlighting the presence of a general impact affecting the populations in the middle slope. Three different matrices have been created, each with a different taxonomic level (All Taxa “AT”, Phylum Level “PL” and Polychaeta Families “PF”). Multivariate analysis (MDS, SIMPER) conducted on PL matrix showed a clear spatial differences between stations (BC and open slope) and depths. MDSs conducted on other two matrices (AT and PF) showed similar patterns, but different from PL analysis. A 2 nd stage analysis have been conducted to understand differences between different taxonomic levels, and PL level has been chosen as the most representative of variation. The faunal differences observed were explained by depth, station and season. All work has been accomplished in the Centre d’estudis avançats de Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), within the framework of Spanish PROMETEO project "Estudio Integrado de Cañones y Taludes PROfundos del MEdiTErráneo Occidental: un hábitat esencial", Ref. CTM2007-66316-C02- 01/MAR.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Arca, Claudio
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
deep-sea polychaeta; taxonomic sufficiency; Mediterranean macrofauna; benthos; abyssal canyon
Data di discussione della Tesi
21 Marzo 2012

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