Quantitative composition and distribution of the macrobenthic invertebrate fauna of the Continental Shelf ecosystems of the Northeastern United States

Theroux, Roger B. and Wigley, Roland L. (1998) Quantitative composition and distribution of the macrobenthic invertebrate fauna of the Continental Shelf ecosystems of the Northeastern United States. Seattle, WA, NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service, (NOAA Technical Report NMFS, 140)

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Abstract

From the mid-1950's to the mid-1960's a series of quantitative surveys of the macrobenthic invertebrate fauna were conducted in the offshore New England region (Maine to Long Island, New York). The surveys were designed to 1) obtain measures of macrobenthic standing crop expressed in terms of density and biomass; 2) determine the taxonomic composition of the fauna (ca. 567 species); 3) map the general features of macrobenthic distribution; and 4) evaluate the fauna's relationships to water depth, bottom type, temperature range, and sediment organic carbon content. A total of 1,076 samples, ranging from 3 to 3,974 m in depth, were obtained and analyzed. The aggregate macrobenthic fauna consists of 44 major taxonomic groups (phyla, classes, orders). A striking fact is that only five of those groups (belonging to four phyla) account for over 80% of both total biomass and number of individuals of the macrobenthos. The five dominant groups are Bivalvia, Annelida, Amphipoda, Echninoidea, and Holothuroidea. Other salient features pertaining to the macrobenthos of the region are the following: substantial differences in quantity exist among different geographic subareas within the region, but with a general trend that both density and biomass increase from northeast to southwest; both density and biomass decrease with increasing depth; the composition of the bottom sediments significantly influences both the kind and quantity of macrobenthic invertebrates, the largest quantities of both measures of abundance occurring in the coarser grained sediments and diminishing with decreasing particle size; areas with marked seasonal changes in water temperature support an abundant and diverse fauna, whereas a uniform temperature regime is associated with a sparse, less diverse fauna; and no detectable trends are evident in the quantitative composition of the macrobenthos in relation to sediment organic carbon content. (PDF file contains 246 pages.)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Quantitative composition and distribution of the macrobenthic invertebrate fauna of the Continental Shelf ecosystems of the Northeastern United States
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Theroux, Roger B.
Wigley, Roland L.
Series Name: NOAA Technical Report NMFS
Number: 140
Date: 1998
Publisher: NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service
Place of Publication: Seattle, WA
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Ecology
Management
Fisheries
Item ID: 2540
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2009 13:50
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 18:51
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/2540

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