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Drivers of deep Mediterranean megabenthos communities along longitudinal and bathymetric gradients
Tecchio, S.; Ramirez Llodra, E.; Sardá, F.; Company, J.B.; Palomera, I.; Mechó, A.; Pedrosa-Pàmies, R.; Sanchez-Vidal, A. (2011). Drivers of deep Mediterranean megabenthos communities along longitudinal and bathymetric gradients. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 439: 181-192. https://hdl.handle.net/10.3354/meps09333
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630; e-ISSN 1616-1599, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs | Dataset 

Trefwoord
    Marien
Author keywords
    Deep-sea · Mediterranean · Megafauna · Environmental factors · POC · Biodiversity

Auteurs  Top | Dataset 
  • Tecchio, S.
  • Ramirez Llodra, E.
  • Sardá, F., meer
  • Company, J.B.
  • Palomera, I.
  • Mechó, A.
  • Pedrosa-Pàmies, R.
  • Sanchez-Vidal, A.

Abstract
    The Mediterranean deep sea, being isothermal and longitudinally trophic-graded, is an optimal natural benchmark to test for macro-ecological patterns of species distribution. The relevance of environment−biota interactions on deep-sea megafauna in the Mediterranean Sea, a matter still neglected, is addressed here along longitudinal and bathymetric axes. Benthic and nektobenthic megafauna were collected in the 3 basins of the Mediterranean: the western (Catalan Sea and southern Balearic), central (western Ionian) and eastern (south of Crete) basins, with an otter-trawl Maireta system and an Agassiz dredge between 1200 and 4000 m depth. Simultaneously, environmental data were collected on surface production, near-bottom physical parameters, sediment grain size and carbon content. Megafaunal biomass was higher in the Catalan Sea, decreasing eastward and with depth. Species diversity and evenness were relatively constant in the western and central Mediterranean at all depths, whereas these indices decreased with depth in the eastern Mediterranean. β-diversity analyses indicated a high species turnover between areas. The 3 basins presented significantly different environmental conditions. Sediment particulate organic carbon, surface fluorescence and sediment grain size were the 3 environmental variables that best explained the distribution of megabenthos along the longitudinal Mediterranean axis. These results show that the food supply, from either the surface or from the adjacent deep-sea floor, is critical in regulating the biodiversity of deep-sea Mediterranean megafauna and that this diversity is pooled region-wide. The heterogeneity of resources may be essential in maintaining these high levels of local and regional diversity.

Dataset
  • Megafaunal data from the 2009 BIOFUN trans-Mediterranean deep-sea cruise, meer

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