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Diversity, distribution and nature of faunal associations with deep-sea pennatulacean corals in the Northwest Atlantic.

Baillon S, Hamel JF, Mercier A - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: A total of 14 species were found on A. grandiflorum and 6 species on H. finmarchica during a multi-year and multi-site sampling campaign in eastern Canada.Associated biodiversity generally increases from northern to southern locations and does not vary with depth (∼ 100-1400 m).Overall, the diversity of obligate/permanent associates of sea pens is moderate; however the presence of mobile/transient associates highlights an ecological role that has yet to be fully elucidated and supports their key contribution to the enhancement of biodiversity in the Northwest Atlantic.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ocean Sciences, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Anthoptilum grandiflorum and Halipteris finmarchica are two deep-sea corals (Octocorallia: Pennatulacea) common on soft bottoms in the North Atlantic where they are believed to act as biogenic habitat. The former also has a worldwide distribution. To assist conservation efforts, this study examines spatial and temporal patterns in the abundance, diversity, and nature of their faunal associates. A total of 14 species were found on A. grandiflorum and 6 species on H. finmarchica during a multi-year and multi-site sampling campaign in eastern Canada. Among those, 7 and 5 species, respectively, were attached to the sea pens and categorized as close associates or symbionts. Rarefaction analyses suggest that the most common associates of both sea pens have been sampled. Biodiversity associated with each sea pen is analyzed according to season, depth and region using either close associates or the broader collection of species. Associated biodiversity generally increases from northern to southern locations and does not vary with depth (∼ 100-1400 m). Seasonal patterns in A. grandiflorum show higher biodiversity during spring/summer due to the transient presence of early life stages of fishes and shrimps whereas it peaks in fall for H. finmarchica. Two distinct endoparasitic species of highly modified copepods (families Lamippidae and Corallovexiidae) commonly occur in the polyps of A. grandiflorum and H. finmarchica, and a commensal sea anemone frequently associates with H. finmarchica. Stable isotope analyses (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) reveal potential trophic interactions between the parasites and their hosts. Overall, the diversity of obligate/permanent associates of sea pens is moderate; however the presence of mobile/transient associates highlights an ecological role that has yet to be fully elucidated and supports their key contribution to the enhancement of biodiversity in the Northwest Atlantic.

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Undescribed copepod species belonging to Corallovexiidae living inside the polyps of Halipteris finmarchica: (A) row of polyps including a polyp infested with a copepod (arrow), (B) female copepod, (C) male copepod and (D) nauplius larvae.Scale in A = 1 mm, in B = 500 µm, in C and D = 100 µm.
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pone-0111519-g005: Undescribed copepod species belonging to Corallovexiidae living inside the polyps of Halipteris finmarchica: (A) row of polyps including a polyp infested with a copepod (arrow), (B) female copepod, (C) male copepod and (D) nauplius larvae.Scale in A = 1 mm, in B = 500 µm, in C and D = 100 µm.

Mentions: A total of 1647 individuals belonging to 14 species (7 scored as close associates or symbionts) were found on the 175 colonies of A. grandiflorum examined and a total of 189 individuals belonging to 6 species (5 close associates) occurred on the 43 colonies of H. finmarchica (Table 2, Fig. 2, 3, 4 and 5). Seven species associated with A. grandiflorum were classified as free-living, 1 as ectobiont and 6 as endobionts, whereas 1 free-living associate, 2 ectobionts and 3 endobionts were found on H. finmarchica. On the 93 samples prepared for genetic identification, 52.7% were successfully sequenced. Partial COI sequences with all meta-data are registered in the Barcode of Life Data Systems [48], project SBDSC, and deposited in GenBank (Table S3). This analysis allowed identification down to species for fish and shrimp larvae. While no precise identification was obtained for the other specimens, higher taxonomic levels were determined.


Diversity, distribution and nature of faunal associations with deep-sea pennatulacean corals in the Northwest Atlantic.

Baillon S, Hamel JF, Mercier A - PLoS ONE (2014)

Undescribed copepod species belonging to Corallovexiidae living inside the polyps of Halipteris finmarchica: (A) row of polyps including a polyp infested with a copepod (arrow), (B) female copepod, (C) male copepod and (D) nauplius larvae.Scale in A = 1 mm, in B = 500 µm, in C and D = 100 µm.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4219758&req=5

pone-0111519-g005: Undescribed copepod species belonging to Corallovexiidae living inside the polyps of Halipteris finmarchica: (A) row of polyps including a polyp infested with a copepod (arrow), (B) female copepod, (C) male copepod and (D) nauplius larvae.Scale in A = 1 mm, in B = 500 µm, in C and D = 100 µm.
Mentions: A total of 1647 individuals belonging to 14 species (7 scored as close associates or symbionts) were found on the 175 colonies of A. grandiflorum examined and a total of 189 individuals belonging to 6 species (5 close associates) occurred on the 43 colonies of H. finmarchica (Table 2, Fig. 2, 3, 4 and 5). Seven species associated with A. grandiflorum were classified as free-living, 1 as ectobiont and 6 as endobionts, whereas 1 free-living associate, 2 ectobionts and 3 endobionts were found on H. finmarchica. On the 93 samples prepared for genetic identification, 52.7% were successfully sequenced. Partial COI sequences with all meta-data are registered in the Barcode of Life Data Systems [48], project SBDSC, and deposited in GenBank (Table S3). This analysis allowed identification down to species for fish and shrimp larvae. While no precise identification was obtained for the other specimens, higher taxonomic levels were determined.

Bottom Line: A total of 14 species were found on A. grandiflorum and 6 species on H. finmarchica during a multi-year and multi-site sampling campaign in eastern Canada.Associated biodiversity generally increases from northern to southern locations and does not vary with depth (∼ 100-1400 m).Overall, the diversity of obligate/permanent associates of sea pens is moderate; however the presence of mobile/transient associates highlights an ecological role that has yet to be fully elucidated and supports their key contribution to the enhancement of biodiversity in the Northwest Atlantic.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ocean Sciences, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Anthoptilum grandiflorum and Halipteris finmarchica are two deep-sea corals (Octocorallia: Pennatulacea) common on soft bottoms in the North Atlantic where they are believed to act as biogenic habitat. The former also has a worldwide distribution. To assist conservation efforts, this study examines spatial and temporal patterns in the abundance, diversity, and nature of their faunal associates. A total of 14 species were found on A. grandiflorum and 6 species on H. finmarchica during a multi-year and multi-site sampling campaign in eastern Canada. Among those, 7 and 5 species, respectively, were attached to the sea pens and categorized as close associates or symbionts. Rarefaction analyses suggest that the most common associates of both sea pens have been sampled. Biodiversity associated with each sea pen is analyzed according to season, depth and region using either close associates or the broader collection of species. Associated biodiversity generally increases from northern to southern locations and does not vary with depth (∼ 100-1400 m). Seasonal patterns in A. grandiflorum show higher biodiversity during spring/summer due to the transient presence of early life stages of fishes and shrimps whereas it peaks in fall for H. finmarchica. Two distinct endoparasitic species of highly modified copepods (families Lamippidae and Corallovexiidae) commonly occur in the polyps of A. grandiflorum and H. finmarchica, and a commensal sea anemone frequently associates with H. finmarchica. Stable isotope analyses (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) reveal potential trophic interactions between the parasites and their hosts. Overall, the diversity of obligate/permanent associates of sea pens is moderate; however the presence of mobile/transient associates highlights an ecological role that has yet to be fully elucidated and supports their key contribution to the enhancement of biodiversity in the Northwest Atlantic.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus