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Latitude versus local effects on echinoderm assemblages along the Victoria Land coast, Ross Sea, Antarctica

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2006

Francesca De Domenico
Affiliation:
DIP.TE.RIS (Dipartimento per lo Studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse), Università di Genova, Italy
Mariachiara Chiantore
Affiliation:
DIP.TE.RIS (Dipartimento per lo Studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse), Università di Genova, Italy
Sabrina Buongiovanni
Affiliation:
DIP.TE.RIS (Dipartimento per lo Studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse), Università di Genova, Italy
Maria Paola Ferranti
Affiliation:
DIP.TE.RIS (Dipartimento per lo Studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse), Università di Genova, Italy
Serena Ghione
Affiliation:
DIP.TE.RIS (Dipartimento per lo Studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse), Università di Genova, Italy
Simon Thrush
Affiliation:
National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, PO Box 11-115, Hamilton, New Zealand
Vonda Cummings
Affiliation:
National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, PO Box 11-115, Hamilton, New Zealand
Judi Hewitt
Affiliation:
National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, PO Box 11-115, Hamilton, New Zealand
Kerstin Kroeger
Affiliation:
National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, PO Box 11-115, Hamilton, New Zealand
Riccardo Cattaneo-Vietti
Affiliation:
DIP.TE.RIS (Dipartimento per lo Studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse), Università di Genova, Italy

Abstract

Data from two new cruises is used to assess whether latitude plays any role in influencing broad-scale spatial patterns in echinoderm assemblage composition along the Victoria Land coast and the Balleny Islands as a contribution to the Latitudinal Gradient Project. Our results indicate that a latitudinal gradient is influencing assemblage structure in subtle and non-linear ways. The Balleny Islands system is different from the Victoria Land coast, probably because of a different biogeographic origin and current oceanographic conditions. Along the Victoria Land coast, latitude related differences arise when taking into account benthic biodiversity at different spatial scales. Alpha diversity increases from north to south, but beta diversity shows the opposite trend, although not linearly, suggesting the different importance of the iceberg disturbance along the northern Victoria Land coast.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Antarctic Science Ltd 2006

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