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Title: Organic matter composition and macrofaunal diversity in sediments of the Condor Seamount (Azores, NE Atlantic)
Author: Bongiorni, Lucia
Ravara, Ascensão
Parretti, Paola
Santos, Ricardo S.
Rodrigues, Clara Lúcia Ferreira
Amaro, Teresa
Cunha, Marina Pais Ribeiro da
Keywords: Seamount
Deep-sea sediments
Organic Matter
Issue Date: 15-Dec-2013
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: In recent years increasing knowledge has been accumulated on seamounts ecology; however their sedimentary environments and associated biological communities remain largely understudied. In this study we investigated quantity and biochemical composition of organic matter and macrofaunal diversity in sediments of the Condor Seamount (NE Atlantic, Azores).In order to test the effect of the seamount on organic matter distribution, sediment samples were collected in 6 areas: the summit, the northern and southern flanks and bases, and in an external far field site. Macrofauna abundance and diversity were investigated on the summit, the southern flank and in the far field site. The organic matter distribution reflected the complex hydrodynamic conditions occurring on the Condor. Concentrations of organic matter compounds were generally lower on the whole seamount than in the far field site and on the seamount summit compared to flanks and bases. A clear difference was also evident between the northern and southern slopes of the Condor, suggesting a role of these amount in conditioning sedimentation processes and distribution of food resources for benthic consumers. Macrofauna assemblages changed significantly among the three sampling sites. High abundance and dominance, accompanied by low biodiversity, characterized the macrofauna community on the Condor summit, while low dominance and high biodiversity were observed at the flank. Our results, although limited to five samples on the seamount and two off the seamount, do not necessarily support the paradigm that seamounts are more biodiverse than the surrounding seafloor. However, the abundance(and biomass), functional diversity and taxonomical distinctiveness of the macrofaunal assemblages from the Condor Seamount suggest that seamounts habitats may play a relevant role in adding to the regional bio-diversity.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.08.006
ISSN: 0967-0645
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