Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Benthic mollusc assemblages in West Antarctica: taxa composition and ecological insights

Sandra Gordillo A C , Mariano E. Malvé B and Gisela Moran A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra (CICTERRA, CONICET-UNC), Avenida Vélez Sársfield 1611, X5016GCA Córdoba, Argentina.

B Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Avenida Vélez Sársfield 299, X5000JJC Córdoba, Argentina.

C Corresponding author. Email: sandra.gordillo@unc.edu.ar

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16349
Submitted: 11 March 2016  Accepted: 8 February 2017   Published online: 28 April 2017

Abstract

Although different studies in Antarctica have dealt with benthic communities, few studies have focused on molluscan assemblages and their ecology. During the austral summer of 2011, 17 stations between depths of 68.5 and 754 m were sampled in West Antarctica using a demersal bottom trawl pilot net on board RV ARA Puerto Deseado. In all, 1848 specimens of shelled molluscs were recorded. Gastropods were the most diverse group (species richness = 74) and bivalves were the most abundant (n = 1344). Shannon–Wiener diversity index values ranged between 0.58 and 2.99, with great variation at different stations. Cluster analysis using the Bray–Curtis coefficient showed three distinct assemblages types: one dominated by suspension feeders; a second with representatives from different trophic groups, including suspension feeders, grazers, scavengers, predators and deposit feeders; and a third, more differentiated, with few taxa and dominated by deposit feeders. Finally, multivariate analysis suggests that bivalves were more sensitive to temperature, whereas gastropods were more sensitive to depth.


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