The bathymetric zonation and community structure of deep-sea macrobenthos in the northern Gulf of Mexico

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Title: The bathymetric zonation and community structure of deep-sea macrobenthos in the northern Gulf of Mexico
Author: Wei, Chih-Lin
Abstract: Macrobenthos of the deep , northern Gulf of Mexico have been sampled with large box cores along multiple cross -depth transects extending from depths of 200 m out to 3700 m . Four major depth zones have been identified based on the faunal similarities (beta diversity ) between geographic sites , with the two intermediate -depth zones being divided horizontally down the middle of the basin . The input of food resources appears to control the observed patterns . Each zone and sub -zone can be described by a characteristic animal density , biomass and biodiversity (alpha diversity ) . Highest densities and biomass occurred in two large submarine canyons , the Mississippi and De Soto Canyon , but the two habitats are markedly different . The alpha diversity displays an intermediate depth maximum . Species richness (gamma diversity ) is highest on east mid -slope , due , we suggest , to habitat complexity , but alpha diversity is lowest at the canyon head due to extreme dominance by amphipods . Small mean individual size and low densities encountered are a reflection of the meager surface water primary production , albeit with exceptional isolated habitats in which detrital material is concentrated , such as canyons on the upper continental slope .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /4927
Date: 2007-04-25

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The bathymetric zonation and community structure of deep-sea macrobenthos in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /4927 .

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