Biomass size-spectra of macrobenthic assemblages along water depth in Antarctica
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KeywordsBiomass size spectra
Several biomass size spectra of benthic assemblages were constructed along a water depth gradient on the southern coast of Livingston Island (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). The size-spectrum for shallow bottoms (<100 m depth) was bimodal with peaks in the 32-64 and 512-1024 g weight-classes, a feature which was attributable to the existence of large filter-feeders. By contrast, both intermediate (100-200 m) and deep (>200 m) zones showed unimodal spectra with biomass peaks in the 1-2 and 0.5-1 g weight ranges respectively. Filter-feeders also affected the larger size classes at intermediate depths, whereas they were almost absent in deeper waters. The slope of the normalized size-spectrum at shallower bottoms (-0.76) was different from those of intermediate (-1.25) and deeper (-1.31) zones. This clearly indicated 2 contrasting faunal strategies: a biomass increase with size in shallow waters, whereas the biomass decreased with size in deep waters. Estimates of total secondary ...
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