First records of dense aggregations of suspension-feeder brittle-stars in Northwest Africa: Could they be directly linked to upwelling phenomena?
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AuthorsCalero, B. (Belén)
Echinoderms are one of the main benthic invertebrate groups, especially in deep waters. Particularly, ophiuroids constitute a common component of megabenthic communities, widely distributed worldwide, from intertidal zone to hadal depths. Within this group, dense aggregations of different species, mostly belonging to suspension-feeder families such as Ophiothrichidae, Ophiactidae, Amphiuridae, Ophiocomidae and Ophiacanthidae, were described worldwide, both in shallow and deep waters and over different sea-bottom types. These aggregations were related with their social behavior, but also with favorable environmental conditions and sometimes were described associated with other suspension-feeders like deep-waters corals. During ten Spanish and Norwegian surveys carried out in Northwest Africa between 2002 and 2012 on board of R/V Vizconde de Eza and R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, an intensive sampling program focused on the study of benthic communities was accomplished in the framework of ...
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