Nematode density along a depth gradient (206-2760 m) in the northeastern Atlantic (Goban Spur) is linearly and positively related to organic matter mineralization in the sediment. It is estimated that nematodes contribute at most 13% to total carbon turnover, and this contribution decreases with water depth. The vertical distribution df nematodes in the sediment closely follows concentration vs depth profiles of total nitrogen in the sediment. Both nematodes and total nitrogen tend to be more concentrated towards the surface with increasing water depth. There is no indication that nematode vertical distribution is directly influenced by the oxygen penetration in the sediment. However, it is hypothesized that the sediment oxygen concentration dan explain the relatively greater importance of smaller organisms in benthic communities with increasing water depth. The nitrogen vs sediment depth profiles are consistent with a greater impact of larger organisms on sediments at the shallow stations and decreased sediment mixing with increasing water depth. [KEYWORDS: Deep-sea transect; vertical-distribution; organic-carbon; ne atlantic; metazoan meiofauna; marine-sediments; abyssal-plain;bottom water; shelf break; meiobenthos]
Original languageEnglish
JournalDeep Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers
Journal publication date1997

ID: 100344