Brittle star distribution patterns and population densities on the continental slope off central California (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea)

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Summers, A. C., & Nybakken, J. (2000). Brittle star distribution patterns and population densities on the continental slope off central California (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea). Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 47(5), 1107-1137. doi:10.1016/S0967-0645(99)00138-1
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TitleBrittle star distribution patterns and population densities on the continental slope off central California (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea)
AuthorsA. Summers, J. Nybakken
AbstractThe ophiuroid communities on the continental slope off central California were examined using box cores and trawls. Box cores were taken between 550 and 3085 m at sites southwest of the Farallon Islands, and otter and beam trawls were used below 2300 m at three sites between the Farallon Islands and Point Sur. Eighteen ophiuroid species from six families were identified. Eighty percent of the individuals collected with box cores belonged to two species, Ophiura leptoctenia and Ophiacantha normani, which were dominant between 1000 and 2000 m. The largest ophiuroid faunal break occurred at around 2000 m and was associated with elevated dissolved oxygen levels, decreasing sediment grain size, and increasing sediment organic content. A comparison of box-core and trawl data from below 2300 m showed that box cores undersampled the ophiuroid community on the continental slope, missing almost 50% of the species collected by trawls within the same area, whereas trawls underestimated ophiuroid densities, reporting on average 243 times fewer ophiuroids per m2 than did box cores. There was a change in species relative abundance patterns between sampling locations. Ophiuroids exhibited patchy spatial distribution patterns on both a small scale of around 0.1 m2 and a large scale on the order of 100-1000 s of square meters. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Date2000
Volume47
Issue5-6
Start page1107
End page1137
ISSN0967-0645
Subjectsechinoderm, population density, spatial distribution, Pacific Ocean, Ophiacantha normani, Ophiura leptoctenia, Ophiuroidea
NoteCited By (since 1996):14, Invertebrates, CODEN: DSROE

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