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Latitude versus local effects on echinoderm assemblages along the Victoria Land coast, Ross Sea, Antarctica

By Francesca De Domenico, Mariachiara Chiantore, Sabrina Buongiovanni, Maria Paola Ferranti, Serena Ghione, Simon Thrush, Vonda Cummings, Judi Hewitt, Kerstin Kröger and Riccardo Cattaneo-Vietti


Data from two new cruises is used to assess whether latitude plays any role in influencing broad-scale spatial patterns in echinoderm assemblage composition along the Victoria Land coast and the Balleny Islands as a contribution to the Latitudinal Gradient Project. Our results indicate that a latitudinal gradient is influencing assemblage structure in subtle and non-linear ways. The Balleny Islands system is different from the Victoria Land coast, probably because of a different biogeographic origin and current oceanographic conditions. Along the Victoria Land coast, latitude related differences arise when taking into account benthic biodiversity at different spatial scales. Alpha diversity increases from north to south, but beta diversity shows the opposite trend, although not linearly, suggesting the different importance of the iceberg disturbance along the northern Victoria Land coast

Year: 2006
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Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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