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Trophic control of benthic foraminiferal abundance and microhabitat in the bathyal Gulf of Lions, western Mediterranean Sea

Abstract : Surface sediment was sampled at two bathyal sites in the southwestern Gulf of Lions in the western Mediterranean Sea in February and August 1997 to study the distribution and microhabitat of living (Rose Bengal stained) deep sea benthic foraminifera. Both standing stock and diversity of the faunas, and the microhabitat of distinct species mirror the trophic situation and the depth of the oxidised layer at the different sites. Our results suggest that the faunas do not comprise highly opportunistic species and are adapted to rather stable environments. In the axial channel of the Lacaze-Duthiers Canyon, organic matter fluxes are enhanced due to advective transport of organic matter resulting in elevated oxygen consumption rates in the surface sediment and a rather thin oxidised layer. The corresponding benthic foraminiferal fauna is characterised by rather high standing stock and diversity, and a well-developed deep infauna. In addition to freshly deposited phytodetritus, more degraded organic matter seems to be an important food source. In contrast, at the open slope, organic matter fluxes and oxygen consumption rates in the surface sediment are lower and the oxidised layer is much thicker than inside the canyon. The corresponding benthic foraminiferal fauna comprises mainly epifaunal and shallow-infaunal species with much lower standing stocks and clear differences between February and August. In August standing stocks are higher and the average living depths of most species shift towards the sediment surface. These differences can be attributed to patchiness or represent a seasonal trophic signal.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00702605
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 5:27:55 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 4:21:17 AM

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G. Schmiedl, F. Debovee, R. Buscail, Bruno Charrìère, C. Hemleben, et al.. Trophic control of benthic foraminiferal abundance and microhabitat in the bathyal Gulf of Lions, western Mediterranean Sea. Marine Micropaleontology, Elsevier, 2003, 40 (3), pp.167-188. ⟨10.1016/S0377-8398(00)00038-4⟩. ⟨hal-00702605⟩

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