The Victoria-Land Transect Cruise with the Italian research vessel "Italica", carried out in February 2004, was the first large-scale attempt to obtain benthic samples systematically along a latitudinal transect on the Antarctic Ross Sea shelf. Data presented from this survey are based on Rauschert dredge samples, which were taken at four areas at depth ranging from 84 m to 515 m. A cluster analysis based on relative numbers of abundance was performed and demonstrated a change in community structure depending on the location along the latitudinal transect, a change in community structure with depth was not recorded. Dominant taxon of the Ross Sea fauna were the Arthropoda (61 %), followed by Polychaeta (20 %), Mollusca (14 %) and Echinodermata (3 %). Total number of abundance decreased with depth with an exception at Cape Russell, whereas a trend in biomass was not documented. Abundance and biomass proportions of major taxa changed gradually along the latitudinal transect.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > POL4-Response of higher marine life to change