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in the North-East Atlantic

By Helena Wiklund, Adrian G. Glover and Thomas G. Dahlgren


Three new Ophryotrocha species are described from sites with high levels of organic carbon flux including a whale-fall at 125 m depth off the Swedish coast and sediment sampled at 104 m depth beneath a fish farm in a Norwegian fjord. Phylogenetic analyses based on the nuclear gene H3 and the mitochondrial genes COI and 16S using MrBayes and Maximum Likelihood analyses show that Ophryotrocha eutrophila sp. nov. is a close relative to Ophryotrocha puerilis, while Ophryotrocha craigsmithi sp. nov. falls together with Palpiphitime lobifera, and Ophryotrocha scutellus sp. nov. occur within the 'hartmanni ' clade. The genus Ophryotrocha is in our study monophyletic only if the genera Iphitime and Palpiphitime are included. Two representatives of Ophryotrocha previously described from anthropogenically-enriched sediments are here reported for the first time in very high abundance from a naturally occurring habitat. We suggest that whale falls are important habitats for the evolution of ecosystem services such as the degradation of complex organic compounds. Key words: Polychaeta, organic enrichment, phylogeny, chemosynthetic ecosyste

Year: 2013
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