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

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

Sandra Gordillo , Mariano Malvé , Gisela Moran


Although different studies in Antarctica dealt on benthic communities, few studies are 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. A total of 1848 specimens of shelled mollusks 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 one 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, but gastropods to depth.

MF16349  Accepted 08 February 2017

© CSIRO 2017