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Quantification of iceberg impact and benthic recolonisation patterns in the Weddell Sea (Antarctica)

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Gutt, J. and Starmans, A. (2001): Quantification of iceberg impact and benthic recolonisation patterns in the Weddell Sea (Antarctica) , Polar Biology, 24 , pp. 615-619 . doi: 10.1007/s003000100263
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Abstract:

Video transects in the eastern Weddell Sea were used to classify the mega-epibenthos into stages of recolonization after iceberg impact and unaffected fauna. Three site categories differing in bottom topography and concentration of grounded icebergs were analysed. At small iceberg banks and on a comparatively plain seabed 52 to 60% of undisturbed seafloor and below 20% at a large iceberg bank were found. The impact was calculated as a function of values for recently disturbed areas and an estimated recovery time. The results show that, statistically, the Antarctic benthos never reaches peak maturity and that iceberg scouring is among the 5 most significant disturbances that any large ecosystem on Earth experiences.

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