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Characterisation of the nematode community of a low-activity cold seep in the recently ice-shelf free Larsen B area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula

Freija Hauquier (UGent) , Jeroen Ingels (UGent) , Julian Gutt, Maarten Raes (UGent) and Ann Vanreusel (UGent)
(2011) PLOS ONE. 6(7).
Author
Organization
Abstract
Background: Recent climate-induced ice-shelf disintegration in the Larsen A (1995) and B (2002) areas along the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula formed a unique opportunity to assess sub-ice-shelf benthic community structure and led to the discovery of unexplored habitats, including a low-activity methane seep beneath the former Larsen B ice shelf. Since both limited particle sedimentation under previously permanent ice coverage and reduced cold-seep activity are likely to influence benthic meiofauna communities, we characterised the nematode assemblage of this low-activity cold seep and compared it with other, now seasonally ice-free, Larsen A and B stations and other Antarctic shelf areas (Weddell Sea and Drake Passage), as well as cold-seep ecosystems world-wide. Principal Findings: The nematode community at the Larsen B seep site differed significantly from other Antarctic sites in terms of dominant genera, diversity and abundance. Densities in the seep samples were high (>2000 individuals per 10 cm(2)) and showed below-surface maxima at a sediment depth of 2-3 cm in three out of four replicates. All samples were dominated by one species of the family Monhysteridae, which was identified as a Halomonhystera species that comprised between 80 and 86% of the total community. The combination of high densities, deeper density maxima and dominance of one species is shared by many cold-seep ecosystems world-wide and suggested a possible dependence upon a chemosynthetic food source. Yet stable (13)C isotopic signals (ranging between -21.97+/-0.86% and -24.85+/-1.89%) were indicative of a phytoplankton-derived food source. Conclusion: The recent ice-shelf collapse and enhanced food input from surface phytoplankton blooms were responsible for the shift from oligotrophic pre-collapse conditions to a phytodetritus-based community with high densities and low diversity. The parthenogenetic reproduction of the highly dominant Halomonhystera species is rather unusual for marine nematodes and may be responsible for the successful colonisation by this single species.
Keywords
MOSBY-MUD-VOLCANO, FREE-LIVING NEMATODES, LITTORAL PERIPHYTON COMMUNITIES, MEIOFAUNA COMMUNITIES, ORGANIC-MATTER, PACIFIC RISE, METAZOAN MEIOFAUNA, MARINE NEMATODES, SEA-ANTARCTICA, WEDDELL SEA

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Chicago
Hauquier, Freija, Jeroen Ingels, Julian Gutt, Maarten Raes, and Ann Vanreusel. 2011. “Characterisation of the Nematode Community of a Low-activity Cold Seep in the Recently Ice-shelf Free Larsen B Area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula.” Plos One 6 (7).
APA
Hauquier, F., Ingels, J., Gutt, J., Raes, M., & Vanreusel, A. (2011). Characterisation of the nematode community of a low-activity cold seep in the recently ice-shelf free Larsen B area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula. PLOS ONE, 6(7).
Vancouver
1.
Hauquier F, Ingels J, Gutt J, Raes M, Vanreusel A. Characterisation of the nematode community of a low-activity cold seep in the recently ice-shelf free Larsen B area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula. PLOS ONE. 2011;6(7).
MLA
Hauquier, Freija et al. “Characterisation of the Nematode Community of a Low-activity Cold Seep in the Recently Ice-shelf Free Larsen B Area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula.” PLOS ONE 6.7 (2011): n. pag. Print.
@article{1941844,
  abstract     = {Background: Recent climate-induced ice-shelf disintegration in the Larsen A (1995) and B (2002) areas along the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula formed a unique opportunity to assess sub-ice-shelf benthic community structure and led to the discovery of unexplored habitats, including a low-activity methane seep beneath the former Larsen B ice shelf. Since both limited particle sedimentation under previously permanent ice coverage and reduced cold-seep activity are likely to influence benthic meiofauna communities, we characterised the nematode assemblage of this low-activity cold seep and compared it with other, now seasonally ice-free, Larsen A and B stations and other Antarctic shelf areas (Weddell Sea and Drake Passage), as well as cold-seep ecosystems world-wide. 
Principal Findings: The nematode community at the Larsen B seep site differed significantly from other Antarctic sites in terms of dominant genera, diversity and abundance. Densities in the seep samples were high (>2000 individuals per 10 cm(2)) and showed below-surface maxima at a sediment depth of 2-3 cm in three out of four replicates. All samples were dominated by one species of the family Monhysteridae, which was identified as a Halomonhystera species that comprised between 80 and 86% of the total community. The combination of high densities, deeper density maxima and dominance of one species is shared by many cold-seep ecosystems world-wide and suggested a possible dependence upon a chemosynthetic food source. Yet stable (13)C isotopic signals (ranging between -21.97+/-0.86% and -24.85+/-1.89%) were indicative of a phytoplankton-derived food source. 
Conclusion: The recent ice-shelf collapse and enhanced food input from surface phytoplankton blooms were responsible for the shift from oligotrophic pre-collapse conditions to a phytodetritus-based community with high densities and low diversity. The parthenogenetic reproduction of the highly dominant Halomonhystera species is rather unusual for marine nematodes and may be responsible for the successful colonisation by this single species.},
  articleno    = {e22240},
  author       = {Hauquier, Freija and Ingels, Jeroen and Gutt, Julian and Raes, Maarten and Vanreusel, Ann},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  journal      = {PLOS ONE},
  keywords     = {MOSBY-MUD-VOLCANO,FREE-LIVING NEMATODES,LITTORAL PERIPHYTON COMMUNITIES,MEIOFAUNA COMMUNITIES,ORGANIC-MATTER,PACIFIC RISE,METAZOAN MEIOFAUNA,MARINE NEMATODES,SEA-ANTARCTICA,WEDDELL SEA},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {13},
  title        = {Characterisation of the nematode community of a low-activity cold seep in the recently ice-shelf free Larsen B area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0022240},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2011},
}

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