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Changes in abundance and community structure of nematodes from the abyssal polymetallic nodule field, Tropical Northeast Pacific
Miljutin, D.; Miljutina, M.; Messié, M. (2015). Changes in abundance and community structure of nematodes from the abyssal polymetallic nodule field, Tropical Northeast Pacific. Deep-Sea Res., Part 1, Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 106: 126-135.
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
    Deep-sea; Density; Diversity; Mining; Nematode community; Polymetallic nodules; Temporal variation

Authors  Top 
  • Miljutin, D., more
  • Miljutina, M.
  • Messié, M.

    Deep-sea fields of polymetallic nodules in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCFZ, tropical NE Pacific) are currently being investigated to assess their potential for commercial mining. During such mining, benthic communities will be inevitably disturbed or destroyed. Therefore, assessments of their standing stock and composition may be helpful for the future evaluation of possible impacts of commercial nodule exploitation. Analysis of nematode communities (at genus level) inhabiting the French license area of the CCFZ were studied based on data from the cruises NODINAUT (2004) and BIONOD (2012). The total nematode density was ca. 1.5-fold higher in 2012 as compared with 2004. This reflected a 2–2.5 times higher density of non-selective deposit-feeders (i.e. possessing a small buccal cavity without armature) in 2012 compared with 2004, whereas no significant differences between sampling periods were observed in the density of the other feeding groups. Consequently, whilst the list of the most abundant genera was identical, their relative abundances changed significantly. The relative abundance of the genus Thalassomon hystera was two times greater in 2012 than in 2004, whereas the relative abundances of the genera Acantholaimus and Theristus were significantly lower in 2012 (10% and 4%, respectively) than in 2004 (28% and 9%). Nematode diversity (including values of diversity indices and total number of recorded genera) was significantly lower in 2012 in comparison with 2004. Although our data do not take into account seasonal and shorter temporal scales of variability in nematode assemblages, we report here that a certain fraction of variations observed between the two sampling periods could be associated with differences in primary production. Future studies should aim to better characterise temporal variability in nematode communities of the CCFZ at seasonal and interannual scales.

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