Microhabitat and shrimp abundance within a Norwegian cold-water coral ecosystem 1Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany
03 Sep 2013
2Bielefeld University, Faculty of Technology, Biodata Mining Group, P.O. Box 100131, 33501 Bielefeld, Germany
Received: 06 December 2012 – Published in Biogeosciences Discuss.: 22 February 2013 Abstract. Cold-water coral (CWC) reefs are heterogeneous ecosystems comprising
numerous microhabitats. A typical European CWC reef provides various
biogenic microhabitats (within, on and surrounding colonies of coral species
such as Lophelia pertusa, Paragorgia arborea and Primnoa resedaeformis, or formed by their remains after death). These microhabitats
may be surrounded and intermixed with non-biogenic microhabitats (soft
sediment, hard ground, gravel/pebbles, steep walls). To date, studies of
distribution of sessile fauna across CWC reefs have been more numerous than
those investigating mobile fauna distribution.
In this study we quantified shrimp densities associated with key CWC
microhabitat categories at the Røst Reef, Norway, by analysing image data
collected by towed video sled in June 2007. We also investigated shrimp
distribution patterns on the local scale (<40 cm) and how these may vary
Shrimp abundances at the Røst Reef were on average an order of magnitude
greater in biogenic reef microhabitats than in non-biogenic microhabitats.
Greatest shrimp densities were observed in association with live
Paragorgia arborea microhabitat (43 shrimp m−2, SD = 35.5),
live Primnoa resedaeformis microhabitat (41.6 shrimp m−2,
SD = 26.1) and live Lophelia pertusa microhabitat (24.4 shrimp
m−2, SD = 18.6). In non-biogenic microhabitat, shrimp densities were
<2 shrimp m−2. CWC reef microhabitats appear to support greater
shrimp densities than the surrounding non-biogenic microhabitats at the
Røst Reef, at least at the time of survey.
Revised: 24 June 2013 – Accepted: 26 July 2013 – Published: 03 September 2013
Citation: Purser, A., Ontrup, J., Schoening, T., Thomsen, L., Tong, R., Unnithan, V., and Nattkemper, T. W.: Microhabitat and shrimp abundance within a Norwegian cold-water coral ecosystem, Biogeosciences, 10, 5779-5791, doi:10.5194/bg-10-5779-2013, 2013.