Abstract

Dense coral-sponge communities on the upper continental slope at 570 - 950 m off George V Land have been identified as a Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem in the Antarctic. The challenge is now to understand their likely distribution. Based on results from the Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census survey of 2007/2008, we propose some hypotheses to explain their distribution. Icebergs scour to 500 m in this region and the lack of such disturbance is probably a factor allowing growth of rich benthic ecosystems. In addition, the richest communities are found in the heads of canyons. Two possible oceanographic mechanisms may link abundant filter feeder communities and canyon heads. The canyons in which they occur receive descending plumes of Antarctic Bottom Water formed on the George V shelf and these water masses could entrain abundant food for the benthos. Another possibility is that the canyons harbouring rich benthos are those that cut the shelf break. Such canyons are known sites of high productivity in other areas because of a number of oceanographic factors, including strong current flow and increased mixing with shelf waters, and the abrupt, complex topography. These hypotheses provide a framework for the identification of areas where there is a higher likelihood of encountering these Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -65.0 East bound 147.0 West bound 139.0 South bound -67.5
Related Links
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays

Product Type/Sub Type

dataset - External Publication - Abstract

Constraints

license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2010

Product Type

dataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
Abstract
marine
marine biodiversity
habitat
abiotic surrogates
Antarctic data
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-65.0
East bound
147.0
West bound
139.0
South bound
-67.5

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-ee75-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

Metadata Date Stamp

2009-10-27

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
Related Links
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays