Three Ridgeia piscesae assemblages from a single Juan de Fuca Ridge sulphide edifice: Structurally different and functionally similar

  • Govenar B
  • Bergquist D
  • Urcuyo I
 et al. 
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Abstract

In this study, we describe five quantitative collections of three epifaunal assemblage-types with the vestimentiferan R. piscesae, from a single sulphide edifice in the Main Endeavour Field, at the Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. A primary objective is to present the species composition, the size frequency distribution of the dominant fauna, and the total biomass within a defined sample area, for each collection, and compare this to the assemblage descriptions in Sarrazin & Juniper (1999). Using these quantifiable ecological parameters, we evaluate structural differences between the assemblage-types to develop a better understanding of the function of R. piscesae in these assemblages. We also compare these results to data from a previous study of a quantitative collection of a basalt aggregation in the Main Endeavour Field. This allows us to illustrate the functional similarity among the three assemblage-types that contain R. piscesae in the dynamic sulphide edifice environment to the R. piscesae basalt community in a different, more stable environment.

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Authors

  • Breea W. Govenar

  • Derk C. Bergquist

  • Istvan A. Urcuyo

  • James T. Eckner

  • Charles R. Fisher

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