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The deep-sea macrobenthos on the continental slope of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea: a quantitative approach

Stora, Georges and Bourcier, Michel and Arnoux, Andre and Gérino, Magali and Le Campion, Joel and Gilbert, Franck and Durbec, Jean-Pierre The deep-sea macrobenthos on the continental slope of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea: a quantitative approach. (1999) Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 46 (8). 1339-1368. ISSN 0967-0637

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0967-0637(99)00012-6


As part of the ECOMARGE operation (J.G.O.F.S. France), macrobenthic assemblages in the Toulon Canyon were described and quantified on the basis of sampling carried out between 250 and 2000 m depth on the Mediterranean continental slope. Results show that Mediterranean bathyal assemblages are made up mainly of continental shelf eurybathic species. The qualitative and quantitative composition of populations varies with depth on the slope and also varies with station position at equivalent depth, whether on the flanks or in the canyon channel. Various analyses have provided evidence on the factors responsible for this population distribution pattern. No single factor emerges as predominant, but rather a group of factors, which are related to the nature and origin of sediments and more particularly their grain size distribution, geochemical composition and mode of transportation and sedimentation (benthic nepheloid or originating from the water column), act in conjunction to determine the pattern. Comparison with ocean continental slopes shows that in the Mediterranean Sea the absence of tidal current modifies the trophic structure of the macrobenthic assemblages, which are characterized by a dominance of surface and subsurface deposit feeders as compared to a dominance of suspension feeders and carnivores in the upper and median part of the slope in the ocean. Surface dumping of dredge spoil at the canyon head and channelling of waste induces an increase of organic matter and pollutant concentrations in sediment from the upper part of the canyon channel but does not give rise to any marked population degradation.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com The original PDF of the article can be found at Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers website : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967063799000126
HAL Id:hal-00772293
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:10 Jan 2013 11:29

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