The deep-sea copepod fauna of the Southern Ocean: patterns and processes

In recent years, much attention has been paid to the Antarctic epipelagic fauna, as a result of the desire to increase our knowledge of ecosystem function and resource management. Unfortunately, our understanding of the polar pelagic deep-sea has not progressed as fast, and in common with many other parts of the world's deep ocean, knowledge is still fragmentary. As yet, we have an incomplete but evolving knowledge of species presence and distribution, but very little idea of how the extreme seasonality seen in the Southern Ocean might influence the deep-water fauna. An examination is made of species distribution and diversity, in relation to the latitudinal cline seen in many benthic groups, and the historical perspective offered by changing circulation patterns and sea temperature through geological time. Although a number of important frontal systems are found within the circumpolar Southern Ocean, the boundary is marked by the Sub-Tropical Convergence, which appears to be the major biogeographic boundary between it and surrounding provinces. Evidence for seasonality in various families is reviewed in light of what we know and can infer about their biology and particularly in respect of their bathymetric distribution, which in some groups appears to change with latitude.


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Authors: Ward, Peter, Shreeve, Rachael S.

On this site: Peter Ward
1 January, 2001
Hydrobiologia / 453-54
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