Bathyal cumacean assemblages from the southern margin of the Cap Ferret Canyon (SE Bay of Biscay)


  • Jordi Corbera
  • Jean Claude Sorbe Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité ISYEB - UMR 7205 - CNRS, MNHN, UPMC, EPHE,



Cumacea, assemblages, suprabenthos, bathyal, Bay of Biscay, NE Atlantic Ocean


The structure of the cumacean assemblages from the southern margin of the Cap Ferret Canyon was studied at 13 stations ranging from 346 to 1099 m depth with a modified Macer-GIROQ suprabenthic sledge (four superimposed nets; 0.5 mm mesh size). A total of 1885 specimens were collected and classified into 5 families and 42 species. The total abundances fluctuated between 2.8 ind./100 m2 (station TS04; 484-485 m) and 55.8 ind./100 m2 (station TS08; 714-708 m). The highest values of species richness and diversity were recorded at station TS13 (1097-1099 m): S=25 species; H’(log2)=4.05. The near-bottom vertical distribution of the cumacean fauna showed the same pattern at all stations: at least 60% of the individu­als were sampled by the lower net of the sledge and a drastic abundance decrease occurred between the two lowermost water layers sampled by the sledge. The multivariate analysis carried out on abundance data discriminated three main groups of stations distributed across depth (TS09 excluded): group Ia (346-485 m) characterized by the dominance of Nannastacidae (57.2%) at family level and Campylaspis sulcata, Leptostylis macrura at species level; group Ib (522-714 m) characterized by the dominance of Nannastacidae (66.1%) at family level and Campylaspis squamifera, C. laevigata and Leptostylis ma­crura at species level; and group II (790-1099 m) characterized by the dominance of Diastylidae (40.3%) at family level and Makrokylindrus (Adiastylis) josephinae, Leucon (Epileucon) pusillus and Diastyloides serratus at species level. According to this analysis, the main faunal change occurs between group I and II between 714 and 790 m, in relation to changes in the texture of surficial sediments. Although bathyal cumacean assemblages appear to be less abundant than those studied on continental shelves, they are significantly more diverse. However, such results could be in part related to the use of different sampling methods.


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How to Cite

Corbera J, Sorbe JC. Bathyal cumacean assemblages from the southern margin of the Cap Ferret Canyon (SE Bay of Biscay). scimar [Internet]. 2020Jun.30 [cited 2022Aug.10];84(2):167-79. Available from: