Scientia Marina, Vol 73, No 2 (2009)

Suprabenthic fauna from the Bellingshausen Sea and western Antarctic Peninsula: spatial distribution and community structure

Carlos San Vicente , Spain

Tomas Munilla
Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona , Spain

Jordi Corbera , Spain

Jean-Claude Sorbe
Laboratoire d’Océanographie Biologique , France

Ana Ramos
Instituto Español de Oceanografía , Spain


During the austral summers of 2003 and 2006 suprabenthic assemblages were investigated at 35 stations located in the Bellingshausen Sea and off the western Antarctic Peninsula, at depths ranging from 45 to 3280 m. Suprabenthos was collected with a Macer-GIROQ sledge equipped with an automatic opening and closing system. This study presents data on the occurrence and relative abundance of the major suprabenthic taxa collected in the water layer immediately adjacent to the bottom (10-140 cm above bottom). Assemblages were dominated by Peracarida and the most common groups were Amphipoda, Mysida, Isopoda and Cumacea. Among the 66 taxa identified, 40 account for more than 80% of the dissimilarity levels among any of the different combinations between groups of stations. The highest dissimilarity values in the segregation of the pairwise station groups were obtained for Mysidae, Lysianassidae, Gammaridea, Cumacea and Munnopsidae. The recorded faunistic patterns showed dependences in the environmental variables depth and percentage of mud in the sediment, as single and combined variables.


suprabenthos; Bellingshausen Sea; Antarctic Peninsula; Southern Ocean

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