Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 423–438 | Cite as

Benthic nematode biodiversity of the Abzu, Tiamat and Michael Ivanov mud volcanoes located along the SWIM fracture zone (Gulf of Cadiz)

  • Sofia P. Ramalho
  • Carlos Ribeiro
  • Christian Hensen
  • Florian Scholz
  • Marianne Nuzzo
  • Pedro Terrinha
  • Helena Adão
Original Paper
  • 107 Downloads

Abstract

Studies that focus on meiofaunal assemblages of deep-sea mud volcanoes show an unpredictable abundance and diversity in a clear response to the different environmental conditions of the seeped sediment. The mud volcanoes Abzu, Tiamat and M. Ivanov (ATI), are located along the SWIM1 fracture zone, in front of the accretionary wedge of the Gulf of Cadiz (AWGC). The geological setting and the fluid geochemical characteristics of the ATI mud volcanoes are different from those located within the AWGC. The main aim of this study is to describe and compare the spatial and vertical distributions of the meiofauna and nematode assemblages from the ATI mud volcanoes, the Porto mud volcano located in the AWGC, and a non-seep site (Site 2) as reference. The pore-water on the uppermost sediment layers has compositions close to the near-bottom seawater. The meiofauna abundances were generally lower and the vertical distribution of the assemblages showed a typical pattern, gradually decreasing towards depth. The lack of spatial patterns of the standing stocks contrasts with the spatial variability of diversity and biomass, related to the differences in the nematode assemblages that are distinct between ATI, Site 2 and the Porto mud volcano. The ATI and Site 2 assemblages are similar to deep-sea non-seep habitats, and are clearly coupled with the environmental conditions of the bottom seawater. No evidence of seep conditions favouring the development of specialised fauna were found. The lower diversity and the presence of higher dominance species could be driven by distinct seepage conditions of the Porto mud volcano.

Keywords

Meiofauna Nematodes Diversity Mud volcanoes SWIM fault zone Gulf of Cadiz 

Abbreviations

ATI MVs

Abzu, Tiamat and M. Ivanov mud volcanoes

AGFZ

Azores-Gibraltar Fracture Zone

AWGC

Accretionary Wedge of the Gulf of Cadiz

SWIM

South-West Iberia Margin strike-slip faults

HAP

Horseshoe Abyssal Plain

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the Captain and the crew of the R/V Meteor M86/5 cruise for excellent support at sea. Cruise was funded by the German Research Foundation (TransFlux grant) with additional support by FCT with the SWIMGLO project (FCT PTDC/MAR/100522/2008 grant), UID/MAR/04292/2013, and MODELINK, and FLOWS (EU-COST, ES 1301) projects. NemaLab of the University of Evora is acknowledge for the use of the facilities.

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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia & CESAM, Campus Universitário de SantiagoUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Marine Biology Research GroupGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Geosciences DepartmentUniversity of ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal
  4. 4.GEOMAR Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean Research KielKielGermany
  5. 5.IGI Ltd., The Granary, HallsanneryBidefordUK
  6. 6.Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA)Instituto Dom Luiz - Univ. LisbonLisbonPortugal
  7. 7.Biology Department & MAREUniversity of ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal

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