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Environmental drivers of benthic communities and habitat heterogeneity on an East Antarctic shelf

Post, AL, Lavoie, C, Domack, EW, Leventer, A, Shevenell, A and Fraser, AD ORCID: 0000-0003-1924-0015 2017 , 'Environmental drivers of benthic communities and habitat heterogeneity on an East Antarctic shelf' , Antarctic Science, vol. 29, no. 1 , pp. 17-32 , doi: 10.1017/S0954102016000468.

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Abstract

This study presents the first analysis of benthic megafauna and habitats from the Sabrina Coast shelf, encompassing a proposed Marine Protected Area. Sea bed imagery indicated an abundant benthic fauna compared to other parts of the Antarctic shelf, dominated by brittle stars, polychaete tubeworms, and a range of other sessile and mobile taxa. The distribution of taxa was related (ρ=0.592, PAnoxycalyx joubini and branching hydrocorals exhibited a more restricted distribution, probably related to water depth and limited dispersal capability, respectively. Dropstones were associated with significant increases in taxa diversity, abundance and biological cover, enhancing the overall diversity and biomass of this ecosystem.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Post, AL and Lavoie, C and Domack, EW and Leventer, A and Shevenell, A and Fraser, AD
Keywords: benthic habitats, benthic megafauna, biophysical relationships, dropstones, marine protected area, substrate type
Journal or Publication Title: Antarctic Science
Publisher: Cambridge Univ Press
ISSN: 0954-1020
DOI / ID Number: 10.1017/S0954102016000468
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2016 Antarctic Science Ltd.

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