Biomass and associations of benthic marine macroalgae from the inner Potter Cove (King George Island, Antarctica) related to depth and substrate
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The biomass of the benthic marine macroalgae from the inner Potter Cove was studied along a depth profile across different substrates during Antarctic summer. Macroalgal associations were identified by means of cluster analysis. Twenty-two species were found in the study site, approximately half of the species present in the area. This paucity may be explained by the strong preponderance of the brown algae Desmarestia anceps and D. menziesii, which are able to exclude other species by competition for light. The mean biomass of all macroalgae was 1,390 g DW/m2±1,787 g DW/m2. Nine macroalgal associations were identified with different preferences for depth, substrate and the degree of exposure. Overall, there was a tendency for macroalgae to grow on fine substrates with increasing depth. Species richness decreased at 20 m depth, probably due to limiting light conditions. The results are discussed with respect to previous studies in East and West Antarctica.
KeywordsBiomass Cluster Analysis Species Richness Light Condition Macroalgae
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