A high local species richness and biodiversity within high-latitude calcareous aggregates of tube-building polychaetes
In general, biodiversity and species richness follow the latitudinal diversity gradient and decrease from the tropics towards the poles. Exceptions have however been recorded, as for deep coldwater coral reefs at high latitudes, which comprise biodiversity hotspots. Here we assess and characterise the high-latitude (69 degrees N) species richness and diversity of a local shallow-water fauna associated with small calcareous aggregations of a serpulid polychaete. A dense and very species rich fauna was recorded within aggregations of Filograna implexa Berkeley, 1828. Totally 4663 individuals belonging to 99 species (61 solitary, 38 colonial) were recorded in a total aggregation volume of only 4.4 l covering an area less than 0.05 m2 of a wreck situated in a tidal stream in North Norway. The number of species within each aggregation was positively related to its size, indicating that the high species diversity may be due to structural heterogeneity, which increase with aggregation size and probably creates new microhabitats and protect against predation. We present a species list including abundance and biomass, pin-point common species and describe a method for sampling such faunas associated with calcareous structures.
PublisherKluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers
CitationBiodiversity and Conservation 20(2011) nr. 4 s. 793-806
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