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Spatial and temporal variations in deep-sea meiofauna assemblages in the Marginal Ice Zone of the Arctic Ocean
Hoste, E.; Vanhove, S.; Schewe, I.; Soltwedel, T.; Vanreusel, A. (2007). Spatial and temporal variations in deep-sea meiofauna assemblages in the Marginal Ice Zone of the Arctic Ocean. Deep-Sea Res., Part 1, Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 54(1): 109-129.
In: Deep-Sea Research, Part I. Oceanographic Research Papers. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 0967-0637; e-ISSN 1879-0119, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Arctic; Greenland Sea; deep water; benthos; meiofauna; abundances

Authors  Top 
  • Hoste, E., more
  • Vanhove, S., more
  • Schewe, I.
  • Soltwedel, T.
  • Vanreusel, A., more

    In order to understand the response of the deep-sea meiobenthos to a highly varying, ice-edge-related input of phytodetritus, we investigated the abundance and composition of the meiobenthos at the arctic long-term deep-sea station HAUSGARTEN (79°N, 4°E) along a bathymetric transect (1200-5500 m water depth) over 5 consecutive years (from 2000 to 2004) in relation to changes in environmental conditions. Results showed high sediment-bound pigment concentrations (chlorophyll a and degradation products) ranging from 4.5 to 41.6 µg/cm3, and coinciding high meiobenthic densities ranging from 149 +/- 3 to 3409 +/- 525 ind/10cm2. Nematodes dominated the metazoan meiofaunal communities at every depth and time (85-99% of total meiofauna abundance), followed by harpacticoid copepods (0-4.6% of total meiofauna abundance). The expected pattern of gradually decreasing meiobenthic densities with increasing water depth was not confirmed. Instead, the bathymetric transect could be subdivided into a shallow area with equally high nematode and copepod densities from 1000 to 2000 in water depth (means: 2259 +/- 157 Nematoda/10cm2, and 50 +/- 4 Copepoda/10cm2), and a deeper area from 3000 to 5500 m water depth with similar low nematode and copepod densities (means: 595 +/- 52 Nematoda/10cm2, and 11 +/- 2 Copepoda/10cm2). Depth-related investigations on the meiobenthos at the HAUSGARTEN site showed a significant correlation between meiobenthos densities, microbial exo-enzymatic activity (esterase turnover) and phytodetrital food availability (chlorophyll a and phaeophytines). In time-series investigations, our data showed inter-annual variations in meiofauna abundance. However, no consistent relationship between nematode and copepod densities, and measures for organic matter input were found.

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