The size structure of deep-sea meiobenthos in the North-Eastern Atlantic: Nematode size spectra in relation to environmental variables


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tsoltwedel [ at ] awi-bremerhaven.de

Abstract

The size distribution of benthic nematodes was investigated along different gradients of food availability in various regions of the NE Atlantic: I. across the continental margin and II. with increasing distance from the continental rise. An overall trend for miniaturization with increasing distance from the food source was found. However, a series of physical, chemical and biological factors clearly lead to variations in nematode size structure. Moreover, our results indicate that seasonally varying food supply or a periodically pulsed input of organic matter to the sea floor affects nematode size spectra. The hypothesis is proposed that the life cycle of deep-sea nematode species and hence the size structure of their populations are related to seasonal energy availability. This dependence might result in one-year life spans of deep-sea nematodes and probably other meiofauna.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
2960
Cite as
Soltwedel, T. , Pfannkuche, O. and Thiel, H. (1996): The size structure of deep-sea meiobenthos in the North-Eastern Atlantic: Nematode size spectra in relation to environmental variables , Journal of the marine biological association of the united kingdom:, 76 , pp. 327-344 .


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