UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Community composition of epibenthic megafauna on the West Greenland Shelf

Yesson, C; Simon, P; Chemshirova, I; Gorham, T; Turner, CJ; Hammeken Arboe, N; Blicher, ME; (2015) Community composition of epibenthic megafauna on the West Greenland Shelf. Polar Biology , 38 (12) pp. 2085-2096. 10.1007/s00300-015-1768-y. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
YessonEtAl_PolarBiology_20150723_Accepted.pdf

Download (11MB) | Preview

Abstract

Epibenthic organisms are a critical component of the marine environment, functioning as ecosystem engineers, habitat and food for other organisms. Our knowledge of the diversity, complexity and sensitivities of these habitats is limited, particularly at higher latitudes and greater depths. The West Coast of Greenland is the site of a commercially important shrimp trawl fishery, but there are few published records describing the benthic community structure of the region. Here we report results from benthic camera surveys conducted at 119 sites, over 3 years, spanning 1400 km of the West Greenland continental shelf (61–725 m depth). A total of 29 classes of epibenthic taxa were identified from the images. There are significant differences of composition and diversity in sites with hard and soft substrate. Hard-substrate communities are relatively diverse with higher abundances and are characterised by sessile, attached groups such as Hydrozoa, Anthozoa, Bryozoa and Porifera. Soft-sediment sites are less diverse and dominated by Polychaeta and have specialist Malacostraca such as the commercially exploited shrimp, Pandalus borealis. Distribution patterns and variation in epibenthic megafauna are related to substrate and the environmental parameters depth, temperature and current speed. This study represents the first quantitative characterisation of epibenthic megafaunal assemblages on the West Greenland continental shelf. These data constitute an important baseline, albeit in a region heavily impacted by trawl fisheries, and demonstrate the utility of benthic photography for examining and monitoring seabed diversity and change.

Type: Article
Title: Community composition of epibenthic megafauna on the West Greenland Shelf
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00300-015-1768-y
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-015-1768-y
Language: English
Additional information: © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2Fs00300-015-1768-y
Keywords: West Greenland Epibenthic communities Continental shelf Hard substrate Soft substrate Benthic invertebrates
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470446
Downloads since deposit
111Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item