Sediment macrofaunal composition, sediment grain size, and taxa functional traits of multiple deep-sea coral habitats in the Gulf of Mexico, 2009-2014
Deep-sea corals can create a highly complex, three-dimensional structure that facilitates sediment accumulation and influences adjacent sediment environments through altered hydrodynamic regimes. Infaunal communities adjacent to different coral types, including reef-building scleractinian corals and individual colonies of octocorals, are known to differ from background non-coral soft-sediment communities, often exhibiting higher macrofaunal densities and distinct community structure. However, the coral types have different morphologies, which may modify the adjacent sediment communities in discrete ways. Here we address two main questions: 1) how infaunal communities adjacent to deep-sea corals and their associated...
Sediment grain size, geochemistry, and polychaete functional traits of Norfolk Canyon (western Atlantic) axis, hard substrate, and adjacent slope habitats, 2012-2013
Dataset of sediment geochemistry, water column parameters, and macrofaunal functional traits associated with sediment communities collected in Norfolk Canyon axis, hard substrates, and adjacent slope habitats in 2012 and 2013.
Submarine canyons are morphologically complex systems, acting as major conduits of organic matter along continental shelves, promoting gradients in food resources, habitat heterogeneity, and areas of sediment resuspension and deposition. Often environmental conditions within canyons can be highly distinct, particularly in different parts of the canyon and in contrast to adjacent slopes. Here we examine how biogeochemical drivers shape the differences between canyon and slope infaunal communities in Baltimore and Norfolk Canyons in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region. Specific comparisons included macrofaunal communities in Norfolk canyons and adjacent slope, hard substrate associated macrofaunal communities in Norfolk...
Chemosynthetic ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) support dense communities of seep megafaunal invertebrates that rely on endosymbiotic bacteria for nutrition. Distinct infaunal communities are associated with the biogenic habitats created by seep biota, where habitat heterogeneity and sediment geochemistry influence local macrofaunal community structure. Here we examine the variance in infaunal communities in the GOM with respect to depth, sediment geochemistry parameters, and distance to known seep habitats. Habitats were mapped based on ROV video of the seafloor. Samples were collected from three sites (AC601, GC852, and AT340) via box core in 2007 and processed for macrofauna and environmental characteristics....