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  • 1
    ISSN: 1573-5117
    Keywords: shelf edge ; hydrocarbon exploration ; environmental impact assessment ; trawl scars ; xenophyophores ; Atlantic Frontier ; fishing impacts
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract A photographic survey in 1998 of the seabed along depth transects from 700 to 1300 m across the N.E. Atlantic continental slope off north-west Scotland shows clear depth-related change in sediment type and megabenthic community in an environment where biological communities and species distributions are poorly known. Small-scale features, such as trawl marks and dense fields of xenophyophores, were resolved that may have remained unknown using conventional sampling or lower resolution imaging techniques. Because xenophyophores accumulate barite, a constituent of some drilling muds, their local-scale occurrences will be important to baseline environmental survey prior to hydrocarbon prospecting in deep water. Our results indicate that deep-sea trawling is physically impacting the seabed to depths of more than 1000 m. The persistence and biological consequence of this impact is unknown, but may depend on sediment type and natural physical disturbance. Comparison with similar seabed photographs taken from a neighbouring area in 1988, which show a high incidence of trawl marks, indicates that such impacts have been taking place over at least 10 years.
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-17
    Description: The Pakistan Margin is characterised by a strong mid-water oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) that intercepts the seabed at bathyal depths (1501300 m). We investigated whether faunal abundance and diversity trends were similar among protists (foraminiferans and gromiids), metazoan macrofauna and megafauna along a transect (1401850 m water depth) across the OMZ during the 2003 intermonsoon (MarchMay) and late/post-monsoon (AugustOctober) seasons. All groups exhibited some drop in abundance in the OMZ core (250500 m water depth; O2: 0.100.13 mL/L=4.465.80 μM) but to differing degrees. Densities of foraminiferans 〉63 μm were slightly depressed at 300 m, peaked at 738 m, and were much lower at deeper stations. Foraminiferans 〉300 μm were the overwhelmingly dominant macrofaunal organisms in the OMZ core. Macrofaunal metazoans reached maximum densities at 140 m depth, with additional peaks at 850, 940 and 1850 m where foraminiferans were less abundant. The polychaete Linopherus sp. was responsible for a macrofaunal biomass peak at 950 m. Apart from large swimming animals (fish and natant decapods), metazoan megafauna were absent between 300 and 900 m (O2 〈0.140.15 mL/L=6.256.69 μM) but were represented by a huge, ophiuroid-dominated abundance peak at 1000 m (O2 0.150.18 mL/L=6.698.03 μM). Gromiid protists were confined largely to depths below 1150 m (O2 〉0.2 mL/L=8.92 μM). The progressively deeper abundance peaks for foraminiferans (〉63 μm), Linopherus sp. and ophiuroids probably represent lower OMZ boundary edge effects and suggest a link between body size and tolerance of hypoxia. Macro- and megafaunal organisms collected between 800 and 1100 m were dominated by a succession of different taxa, indicating that the lower part of the OMZ is also a region of rapid faunal change. Species diversity was depressed in all groups in the OMZ core, but this was much more pronounced for macrofauna and megafauna than for foraminiferans. Oxygen levels strongly influenced the taxonomic composition of all faunal groups. Calcareous foraminiferans dominated the seasonally and permanently hypoxic sites (136300 m); agglutinated foraminiferans were relatively more abundant at deeper stations where oxygen concentrations were 〉0.13 mL/L(=5.80 μM). Polychaetes were the main macrofaunal taxon within the OMZ; calcareous macrofauna and megafauna (molluscs and echinoderms) were rare or absent where oxygen levels were lowest. The rarity of larger animals between 300 and 700 m on the Pakistan Margin, compared with the abundant macrofauna in the OMZ core off Oman, is the most notable contrast between the two sides of the Arabian Sea. This difference probably reflects the slightly higher oxygen levels and better food quality on the western side.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-16
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-16
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 6
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    [s.l.] : Nature Publishing Group
    Nature 300 (1982), S. 747-750 
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] One of the aims of a long-term time series sampling programme initiated by the Scottish Biological Association in the Rockall Trough (north-east Atlantic)12'13 is to test the hypothesis that annual periodicities may occur in deep-sea invertebrates. In 1975 a permanent station was established at ...
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1432-1904
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General
    Notes: Abstract  On the highly productive Oman Margin of the Arabian Sea, where an intense permanent oxygen minimum impinges on the continental slope, there is no relationship between oxygen concentration and sedimentary organic-carbon content. However, we provide photographic and molecular evidence that benthic invertebrates play a significant role in the redistribution of organic matter. High densities of spider crabs and brittle stars characterize a narrow band near the base of the oxygen minimum zone, where sediments have depleted organic carbon contents and a remarkable lipid composition that is indicative of metabolic alteration of phytoplankton-derived sterols by invertebrate detritivores. The distributions of sedimentary sterols and the high abundances of epifaunal crabs and brittle stars suggest that the metabolism of the megabenthos profoundly influences the quality of organic matter in underlying sediments.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Growth in the deep-sea irregular sea urchins Echinosigra phiale (family Pourtalesiidae) and Hemiaster expergitus (family Hemiasteridae) was studied from deep-sea samples taken during the years 1973 to 1985 from two stations at 2900 and 2200 m depth in the Rockall Trough (N.E. Atlantic Ocean). Growth zones, similar to those described from sea urchins in shallow water, are present as a series of wide white bands separated by narrow, dark rings in the calcite stereom of the test plates after heating to 350°C. In shallow water, such growth zones seem to result from seasonally varying growth rates. In the supposedly constant conditions in the deep sea, a seasonal growth pattern is unexpected but may occur in response to recently discovered annual pulses in downward flux of detritus from the euphotic zone, providing a seasonally varying food supply for such deposit-feeding species living in the bottom sediment. On this assumption, growth curves were fitted to counts of growth zones (as representing age in years), in the larger lateral and ventral test plates of E. phiale and H. expergitus. The opportunity was also taken to fit growth curves derived from counts of growth zones in samples of the inshore spatangoids Spatangus purpureus and Echinocardium pennatifidum. Plots of counts against test length of Echinosigra phiale and H. expergitus, although scattered and not clearly asymptotic, indicate, growth to be slower than in the two inshore spatangoids, and than in the coastal species Echinocardium cordatum, for which there are good recent growth data, available.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 9
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Marine biology 110 (1991), S. 217-228 
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Growth of the inshore sea urchinPsammechinus miliaris (Gmelin) was studied in Loch Creran, western Scotland, using the skeletal growth-marker tetracycline in order to test the validity of natural growth-banding in the coronal test plates as annual age-markers. In order to test whether tetracycline affected the growth ofP. miliaris, an injected and a control group of urchins were held in identical conditions in running sea water aquaria for 21 mo from 1989 to 1991 and measured periodically. A small but significant difference in mean size of injected compared to controls was recorded at 12 mo, but none during subsequent measurements. Size measurements during the trial were consistent with an annual growth cycle, with a maximum in spring and slowing or cessation of growth during autumn/winter. Tetracycline-labelled juveniles were recovered up to 18 mo after initial tagging in mark/recapture experiments undertaken from 1987 to 1989 at two intertidal marked quadrats in Loch Creran. Large numbers ofP. miliaris were also marked with tetracycline and held for 1 yr at 10 m depth in seabed cages in Loch Creran during 1988–1990. All of the intertidal recoveries, and about 69% of the caged specimens that had been successfully labelled, showed a consistent relationship between the position of the tetracycline tag and the pattern of natural growth zones. The remainder were mostly large, slow-growing urchins with the tag positioned near the plate margin. In these the outer growth bands were closely spaced and, particularly if major growth bands seemed to be broken up into double or multiple lines, the major bands were impossible to resolve at the margin. The results support the assumption that in wild populations the dark bands visible with reflected light (translucent in transmitted light) after charring the plate are formed when skeletal growth has stopped or slowed in winter. These lie between wider, lighter coloured (opaque in transmitted light) zones of active plate growth in spring/summer. The dark band formed beyond the tag usually was made up of several closely spaced fine lines, or sometimes of two closely spaced dark bands. The wide growth zones beyond the tag, like those formed previously, usually were broken by fine, dark lines that may represent brief discontinuities in growth. From tagging, the double dark bands can be related to growth over one year; but such anomalous bands, along with the general presence of fine, dark lines interrupting the growth zones, make it difficult reliably to estimate age from the closely spaced peripheral banding on older, slow-growing urchins.
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract   Ophiocten gracilis is an ophiuroid found at bathyal depths in the North Atlantic Ocean. The adults show strong seasonal reproduction, with an ophiopluteus in the surface plankton. Settling postlarvae were collected in sediment traps moored at 1000 and 1400 m depth in the NE Atlantic during Julian Days 142 to 212 (May to July) in 1996. During this period, growth of postlarvae in the traps was linear and the diet consisted of phytodetritus and foraminifera. Experiments suggest that postlarvae sink at rates of up to 500 m d−1, although this may well be slower in the natural environment. The high fecundity, seasonality and high population density resulted in high fertilization success, and many of the offspring were advected outside the normal adult range, where they were able to settle but did not survive to adulthood.
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