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Macrofaunal communities on the continental shelf off Victoria Land, Ross Sea, Antarctica

  • Peter Rehm (a1), Rachel A. Hooke (a2) and Sven Thatje (a2)

Abstract

In austral summer 2004 benthic macrofauna was sampled along a latitudinal gradient along the northern Victoria Land coast (Ross Sea). An Agassiz trawl was used for semi-quantitative data collection of macrozoobenthos at depths from 84 to 537 m. Multivariate analysis of abundance of higher taxonomic units discriminated between the four sample sites along the latitudinal gradient. A SIMPROF analysis emphasized these geographical clusters, as the samples showed no significant differences within each cluster. A change in community structure with depth was not observed. The dominant taxonomic groups along the Victoria Land coast were Echinodermata (39%), Arthropoda (24%), Polychaeta (14%), and Mollusca (12%), not accounting for colonial organisms. Thus, the overall structure of the benthic community off the Victoria Land coast is comparable to other Antarctic regions and shows a closer relationship to the eastern Weddell Sea shelf, which may be attributable to the extensive impact of grounded ice affecting both areas.

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Macrofaunal communities on the continental shelf off Victoria Land, Ross Sea, Antarctica

  • Peter Rehm (a1), Rachel A. Hooke (a2) and Sven Thatje (a2)

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