Preprint typeset using LATEX style emulateapj v. 5/2/11 CHOIRS HI GALAXY GROUPS: THE METALLICITY OF DWARF GALAXIES


We present a recalibration of the luminosity-metallicity relation for gas-rich, star-forming dwarfs to magnitudes as faint as MR ∼-13. We use the Dopita et al. (2013) metallicity calibrations to calibrate the relation for all of the data in this analysis. In metallicity-luminosity space we find two sub-populations within a sample of high-confidence SDSS DR8 star-forming galaxies; 52 % are metal-rich giants and 48 % are metal-medium galaxies. Metal-rich dwarfs classified as tidal dwarf galaxy (TDG) candidates in the literature are typically of metallicity 12 + log(O/H) = 8.70 ± 0.05, while SDSS dwarfs fainter than MR =-16 have a mean metallicity of 12 + log(O/H) = 8.28 ± 0.10, regardless of their luminosity, indicating that there is an approximate floor to the metallicity of low luminosity galaxies. Our hydrodynamical simuations predict that TDGs should have metallicities elevated above the normal luminosity-metallicity relation. Metallicity can therefore be a useful diagnostic for identifying TDG candidate populations in the absence of tidal tails. At magnitudes brighter than MR ∼-16 our sample of 53 star-forming galaxies in 9 Hi gas-rich groups is consistent with the normal relation defined by the SDSS sample. At fainter magnitudes there is an increase in dispersion in metallicity of our sample, suggestive of a wide range of Hi content and environment. In our sample we identify three (16 % of dwarfs) strong TDG candidates (12 + log(O/H)> 8.6), and four (21%) very metal poor dwarfs (12 + log(O/H) < 8.0), which are likely gas-rich dwarfs with recently ignited star formation

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