Submarine ridges do not prevent large-scale dispersal of abyssal fauna: A case study of Mesocletodes (Crustacea, Copepoda, Harpacticoida)


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lena.menzel [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

We examined the large-scale distribution of deep-sea harpacticoid copepods at the species level, in order to clarify the underlying processes of copepod dispersal. The study was based on samples collected from 12 regions and a total of 113 stations: 57 stations at depths between 1107 and 5655 m on abyssal plains in the South and North Atlantic, Southern Ocean, southern Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean, and 56 stations above 900 m in the North Atlantic and eastern Mediterranean Sea. We chose the genus Mesocletodes Sars, 1909 as an ideal group to study the large-scale distribution of harpacticoid Copepods in the deep oceans. Clear apomorphies and a comparatively large body size of about 1 mm allow rapid recognition of allied species in meiofauna samples. In addition, Mesocletodes represents more than 50% of the family Argestidae Por, 1986, one of the most abundant harpacticoid families in the deep sea. The geographical distributions of 793 adult females of Mesocletodes belonging to 61 species throughout the South and North Atlantic, Southern Ocean, southern Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and eastern Mediterranean Sea indicated that most species are cosmopolitan. Neither the topography of the sea bottom nor long distances seem to prevent species from dispersing. Passive transport by bottom currents after resuspension is likely the propulsive factor for the dispersal of Harpacticoida, while plate tectonics and movement of individuals in the sediment may play relatively minor roles.



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Published
Eprint ID
31000
DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2011.05.008

Cite as
Menzel, L. , George, K. and Martínez Arbizu, P. (2011): Submarine ridges do not prevent large-scale dispersal of abyssal fauna: A case study of Mesocletodes (Crustacea, Copepoda, Harpacticoida) , Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers, 58 (8), pp. 839-864 . doi: 10.1016/j.dsr.2011.05.008


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