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Free Content Deep-sea polychaete communities in the northeast Pacific Ocean off the Gulf of the Farallones, California

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Polychaete communities of the continental slope off the Farallon Islands, California are characterized in terms of their species composition, dominating families and species, and diversity. Extensive material was collected during three cruises in 1990 and 1992 to evaluate several smaller research areas for deep-sea disposal of dredge spoil from the harbor of San Francisco. Nearly 30,000 polychaetes belonging to 382 species in 47 families were identified. The most speciose, and usually most abundant, families were the paraonidae, Spionidae, and Dorvilleidae. polychaete abundance ranged from about 2000 to nearly 10,000 ind m−2 and was influenced by the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) around 800 m. Below 1900 m, there was a general trend of gradually decreasing abundance with increasing depth. Species richness also increased with increasing depth to about 2000 m and then gradually decreased to 3100 m. Diversity was fairly high with the exception of the shallowest stations where some highly dominant species were found. The Shannon-Wiener indices were generally between 2.5 and 3.5, with peaks below the OMZ at 1200 m, around 2000–2100 m, and somewhat less pronounced around 2600 m.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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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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