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Free Content Biomass of Deep-Sea Benthic Communities: Polychaetes and Other Invertebrates

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Biomass measurements were made for benthic samples from the U.S. Atlantic continental slope and rise as part of a program on benthic processes in the deep sea. Box-core samples were collected from off Georges Bank near Massachusetts south to off Georgia, primarily along the 2,000-m depth contour. Ash-free dry weight (AFDW) measurements were made on replicates from six stations. Samples were sieved through nested 0.3-mm and 2.0-mm screens. AFDW biomass ranged between 0.1665 and 2.1439 g·m−2. Polychaetes dominated biomass in the 0.3-mm fractions and in the 2.0-mm fraction except whenever large organisms, such as echinoderms, were present. Wet weight biomass was measured on samples taken from off Cape Hatteras in depths varying between 583 and 3,500 m. A sharp decrease (five to ten-fold) in biomass was observed between 2,000 and 3,000 m depth.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1991-03-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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