, Volume 15, Issue 11, pp 3685-3702
Date: 25 Mar 2006

Faunal change and bathymetric diversity gradient in deep-sea prosobranchs from Northeastern Atlantic

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Abstract

Despite the plethora of studies, geographic patterns of diversity in deep sea remain subject of speculation. This study considers a large dataset to examine the faunal change and depth-diversity gradient of prosobranch molluscs in the Porcupine Seabight and adjacent Abyssal Plain (NE Atlantic). Rates of species succession (addition and loss) increased rapidly with increasing depth and indicated four possible areas of faunal turnover at about 700, 1600, 2800 and 4100 m. Depth was a significant predictor of diversity, explaining nearly a quarter the variance. There was a pattern of decreasing diversity downslope from ~250 m to ~1500–1600 m, followed by an increase to high values at about 4000 m and then again, a fall to ~4915 m. Processes causing diversity patterns of prosobranchs in the Porcupine Seabight and adjacent Abyssal Plain are likely to differ in magnitude or type, from those operating in other Atlantic areas.