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Presenters Notified: November 2012

Program Schedule Posted:November 2012

Abstracts Available: January 2013

Meeting:
17-22 February 2013

Gallo, N. D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography - UCSD, USA, ndgallo@ucsd.edu
Levin, L. A., Scripps Institution of Oceanography - UCSD, USA, llevin@ucsd.edu
Cameron, J. F., USA
Bartlett, D. H., Scripps Institution of Oceanography - UCSD, USA, dbartlett@ucsd.edu

SUBMERSIBLE EXPLORATION OF SW PACIFIC TRENCHES: BIODIVERSITY TRENDS FROM 1000 TO 10,900 M

James Cameron’s DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition (2012) was the first manned expedition to the deepest spot in the ocean since the descent of the Trieste in 1960. The HD video footage from the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER provides new observations of epibenthic abundance, biodiversity, and composition in the eutrophic New Britain Trench (NBT) at 1km, 3.8km, and 8.2km and in the oligotrophic Challenger Deep (Mariana Trench) at 10.9km. Epibenthic biodiversity decreased with depth except at 3.8km where bentho-pelagic diversity was lower than at 8.2km, but organismal abundance was greater due to a dominance of echiurans and other infauna. Holothurian biodiversity decreased with depth, and bentho-pelagic holothurians were only present at 1km. Bentho-pelagic communities in the NBT were characterized at all dive sites by polychaetes, crustaceans, and cnidarians. In contrast, the Challenger Deep epibenthic community was dominated by agglutinated foraminifera, amphipods, and one megafaunal species, which was identified for the first time at this depth. Terrestrial input varied between sites with abundant plant detritus present in the NBT and no detritus in the Challenger Deep, perhaps contributing to differences in epibenthic communities.

Oral presentation

Session #:GS09
Date: 2/22/2013
Time: 10:45