4th International Submarine Canyon Symposium (INCISE2018)

5-7 November 2018, Shenzhen, CHINA

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This is the detail of Internal tides and canyon wall faunal assemblages

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Tabitha R R Pearman
Alex Callaway, Robert Hall, Anthony Jenson, Claudio Lo Iacono, Veerle Huvenne
Abstarct Title
Internal tides and canyon wall faunal assemblages
Abstarct Body
Submarine canyons are biodiversity hotspots in the deep sea with canyon walls supporting diverse faunal assemblages that exhibit high beta diversity. Wall assemblages can vary between and even within canyon branches. Understanding the processes that generate these spatial patterns is fundamental to effective management of canyon biodiversity. However, few ecological studies of canyon wall assemblages have been conducted and our understanding of the processes that generate these spatial patterns is limited. Canyons are recognised as sites of intensified hydrodynamic regimes, with internal tides linked to enhanced mixing and nepheloid layer production: two processes associated with increased faunal diversity and abundance. Recent species predictive mapping efforts for submarine canyons found model performance improved with the inclusion of physical oceanographic variables. Canyon faunal distributions respond to physical oceanographic (water mass characteristics and hydrodynamics) gradients. Internal tides also generate large local variations in water mass characteristics by their movement along the canyon. Internal tides with amplitudes up to 80 m have been observed for the M2 internal tide in Whittard Canyon, with internal waves generating daily 1°C temperature fluctuations and dissolved oxygen concentration changes of 12 ╬╝mol-1 on certain sections of the canyon walls. In this presentation we will explore if this variability in environmental conditions generated by the internal tide could be a contributing factor to spatial patterns in faunal distribution on canyon walls. We investigate this via an interdisciplinary study utilising biological, physical and oceanographic datasets to undertake high-resolution community analysis of wall assemblages within Whittard Canyon in relation to environmental variance experienced by canyon wall fauna.
Session 3: Patterns and heterogeneity in submarine canyons
Presentation Type
Oral Presentation
Fauna assemblages, internal tide

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