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Diversity and distribution of cold-seep fauna associated with different geological and environmental settings at mud volcanoes and pockmarks of the Nile Deep-Sea Fan

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Wenzhöfer,  Frank
HGF MPG Joint Research Group for Deep Sea Ecology & Technology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Boetius,  Antje
HGF MPG Joint Research Group for Deep Sea Ecology & Technology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Wenzhoefer11.pdf
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Citation

Ritt, B., Pierre, C., Gauthier, O., Wenzhöfer, F., Boetius, A., & Sarrazin, J. (2011). Diversity and distribution of cold-seep fauna associated with different geological and environmental settings at mud volcanoes and pockmarks of the Nile Deep-Sea Fan. Marine Biology, 158(6), 1187-1210.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-CA3D-8
Abstract
The Nile Deep-Sea Fan (NDSF) is located on the passive continental margin off Egypt and is characterized by the occurrence of active fluid seepage such as brine lakes, pockmarks and mud volcanoes. This study characterizes the structure of faunal assemblages of such active seepage systems of the NDSF. Benthic communities associated with reduced, sulphidic microhabitats such as sediments and carbonate crusts were sampled by remotely operated vehicles during two cruises in 2006 (BIONIL) and 2007 (MEDECO). Environmental conditions and biological factors including family-level faunal composition, density and diversity were measured at local and regional scales. Significant differences were detected at different spatial scales: (1) the fauna of reduced habitats differed substantially in activity, diversity and biomass from the non-seep environment at similar water depth, (2) cold seep microhabitats showed differences in community structure and composition related to substratum type as well as to the intensity and location of fluid emissions.