Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Does presence of a mid-ocean ridge enhance biomass and biodiversity?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Imants G. Priede, Odd Aksel Bergstad, Peter I. Miller, Michael Vecchione, Andrey Gebruk, Tone Falkenhaug, David S. M. Billett, Jessica Craig, Andrew C. Dale, Mark A. Shields, Gavin H. Tilstone, Tracey T. Sutton, Andrew J. Gooday, Mark E. Inall, Daniel O. B. Jones, Victor Martinez-Vicente, Gui M. Menezes, Tomasz Niedzielski, Porsteinn Sigurosson, Nina Rothe & 18 others Antonina Rogacheva, Claudia H. S. Alt, Timothy Brand, Richard Abell, Andrew S. Brierley, Nicola J. Cousins, Deborah Crockard, A. Rus Hoelzel, Age Hoines, Tom B. Letessier, Jane F. Read, Tracy Shimmield, Martin J. Cox, John K. Galbraith, John D. M. Gordon, Tammy Horton, Francis Neat, Pascal Lorance

School/Research organisations

Abstract

In contrast to generally sparse biological communities in open-ocean settings, seamounts and ridges are perceived as areas of elevated productivity and biodiversity capable of supporting commercial fisheries. We investigated the origin of this apparent biological enhancement over a segment of the North Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) using sonar, corers, trawls, traps, and a remotely operated vehicle to survey habitat, biomass, and biodiversity. Satellite remote sensing provided information on flow patterns, thermal fronts, and primary production, while sediment traps measured export flux during 2007-2010. The MAR, 3,704,404 km 2 in area, accounts for 44.7% lower bathyal habitat (800-3500 m depth) in the North Atlantic and is dominated by fine soft sediment substrate (95% of area) on a series of flat terraces with intervening slopes either side of the ridge axis contributing to habitat heterogeneity. The MAR fauna comprises mainly species known from continental margins with no evidence of greater biodiversity. Primary production and export flux over the MAR were not enhanced compared with a nearby reference station over the Porcupine Abyssal Plain. Biomasses of benthic macrofauna and megafauna were similar to global averages at the same depths totalling an estimated 258.9 kt C over the entire lower bathyal north MAR. A hypothetical flat plain at 3500 m depth in place of the MAR would contain 85.6 kt C, implying an increase of 173.3 kt C attributable to the presence of the Ridge. This is approximately equal to 167 kt C of estimated pelagic biomass displaced by the volume of the MAR. There is no enhancement of biological productivity over the MAR; oceanic bathypelagic species are replaced by benthic fauna otherwise unable to survive in the mid ocean. We propose that globally sea floor elevation has no effect on deep sea biomass; pelagic plus benthic biomass is constant within a given surface productivity regime.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere61550
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 May 2013

    Research areas

  • Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Temperate North Eastern Atlantic , Deep water fish, North Atlantic, Sea floor, Coryphaenoides rupestris, Demersal fish, Ocean, Seamounts, Patterns

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Internal lee waves and baroclinic bores over a tropical seamount shark ‘hot-spot’

    Hosegood, P. J., Nimmo-Smith, W. A. M., Proud, R., Adams, K. & Brierley, A. S. 25 Jan 2019 In : Progress in Oceanography. 172, p. 34-50

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Spatial variability in total and organic mercury levels in Antarctic krill Euphausia superba across the Scotia Sea

    Seco, J., Xavier, J. C., Coelho, J. P., Pereira, B., Tarling, G., Pardal, M. A., Bustamante, P., Stowasser, G., Brierley, A. S. & Pereira, M. E. 14 Jan 2019 In : Environmental Pollution. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. From siphonophores to deep scattering layers: uncertainty ranges for the estimation of global mesopelagic fish biomass

    Proud, R., Handegard, N. O., Kloser, R., Cox, M. & Brierley, A. S. 19 Apr 2018 In : ICES Journal of Marine Science. Advance Article

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. PLoS One (Journal)

    Cross, C. P. (Member of editorial board)
    1 Sep 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  2. PLoS One (Journal)

    Cresswell, W. (Reviewer)
    23 May 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  3. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Dritschel, B. (Member of editorial board)
    May 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  4. PLoS One (Journal)

    Young, S. (Reviewer)
    7 Jun 201719 Jun 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  5. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Schwarz-Linek, U. (Reviewer)
    Mar 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. Agreement between primary care and hospital diagnosis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: a cross-sectional, observational study using record linkage

    O’Neill, B., Kalia, S., Aliarzadeh, B., Moineddin, R., Fung, W. L. A., Sullivan, F., Maloul, A., Bernard, S. & Greiver, M. 7 Jan 2019 In : PLoS ONE. 14, 1, 15 p., e0210214

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Molecular epidemiology and expression of capsular polysaccharides in Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates in the United States

    Mohamed, N. , Timofeyeva, Y. , Jamrozy, D. , Rojas, E. , Hao, L. , Silmon de Monerri, N. C. , Hawkins, J. , Singh, G. , Cai, B. , Liberator, P. , Sebastian, S. , Donald, R. G. K. , Scully, I. L. , Jones, C. H. , Creech, C. B. , Thomsen, I. , Parkhill, J. , Peacock, S. J. , Jansen, K. U. , Holden, M. T. G. & 1 others Anderson, A. S. 14 Jan 2019 In : PLoS ONE. 14, 1, 33 p., e0208356

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Orangutans (Pongo abelii) make flexible decisions relative to reward quality and tool functionality in a multi-dimensional tool-use task

    Laumer, I. B., Auersperg, A. M. I., Bugnyar, T. & Call, J. 13 Feb 2019 In : PLoS ONE. 14, 2, 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Sensitivity of multispecies maximum sustainable yields to trends in the top (marine mammals) and bottom (primary production) compartments of the southern North Sea food-web

    Stäbler, M., Kempf, A., Smout, S. & Temming, A. 28 Jan 2019 In : PLoS ONE. 14, 1, 18 p., e0210882

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding and TEM reveals different ecological strategies within the genus Neogloboquadrina (planktonic foraminifer)

    Bird, C., Darling, K. F., Russell, A. D., Fehrenbacher, J. S., Davis, C. V., Free, A. & Ngwenya, B. T. 29 Jan 2018 In : PLoS One. 13, 1, 26 p., e0191653

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 100061939