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Functional diversity at Condor Seamount (Mid-Atlantic Ridge)

Authors:
  • OKEANOS - Instituto de Investigação em Ciências do Mar – Universidade dos Açores, Horta, Portugal
  • Institute of Marine Sciences-OKEANOS, Universidade dos Açores

Abstract

Community ecology based on biological and/or functional traits rather than taxonomic criteria informs general ecological patterns through the study of ecological niches, function, and resistance and resilience to perturbations. There are no repositories for diverse species traits from non-chemosynthetic deep-sea ridges and associated seamounts, where the impacts of current and prospective human activities (i.e., seabed mining, fishing, and climate change) accelerate. We built a trait database standardized across different groups of taxa (i.e., macro- and megafauna, demersal and pelagic fishes, and cetaceans) from Condor Seamount (Mid-Atlantic Ridge) to identify general ecological patterns in these settings. The selected traits described morphological, trophic, physiological, structural, and behavioural features and were extracted from the literature, biodiversity repository databases, and complemented with expert knowledge. To identify trade-offs and traits relevant to ecosystem function we investigated covariance among traits and between traits and functions. Larger cold-water coral species host more associated epifauna compared to smaller corals, and species with wider bathymetric range show a broader distribution range within the Azores. We expect the understanding of relationships across diverse taxa and functional diversity within the ecosystem will lead to improved conservation outcomes underpinned by management frameworks that are informed by hierarchical monitoring of where species occur and their traits.
Functional diversity at Condor
Seamount (Mid-Atlantic Ridge)
Campanyà-Llovet, Neus1*; Bates, Amanda E.2; Carreiro-Silva, Marina1; Cuvelier, Daphne1,3; Giacomello,
Eva1; Pham, Christopher1; Prieto, Rui1,3; Colaço, Ana1
1IMAR, Instituto do Mar, OKEANOS - Centro I&D da Universidade dos Açores, Horta, Portugal
2Department of Ocean Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL A1C 5S7, Canada
3MAREMarine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Lisbon, Portugal
e-mail: neus.ci.llovet@uac.pt
Trait-based approach
Assessment of functional diversity is key to understanding and
predicting ecosystem adaptation to global change.
Trait: well-defined, measurable characteristic that can be used
comparatively across species.
x
Auscavitch et al. 2020 PeerJ
Max. body size Greggariousness Reproduction Species associations
FUN AZORES
Aims: To understand the ecosystem function of seamount ecosystems from the Azores Exclusive
Economic Zone.
https://funazores.pt/
FUN AZORES
Freely accessible trait database that…
includes a broad range of organisms
includes undocumented expert knowledge
is practical to test ecological questions
is practical to help prioritise management and conservation strategies
https://funazores.pt/
Condor Seamount
Covers a broad depth gradient (190 m 2000 m) and supports rich
assemblages of deep-sea corals, abundant sponges, sea urchins, crabs,
and commercial fishes.
F. Tempera©ImagDOP
Ressurreiçâo and Giacomello 2013 Deep-Sea Res II
Aim and objectives
AIM: Explore the applicability of the FUN AZORES database on a case
study, Condor Seamount.
OBJECTIVES:
Investigate functional diversity with depth (0 2000 m at 200 m
intervals) in Condor Seamount (categorical database).
Investigate trait relationships with ecosystem function in Condor
Seamount (numerical database).
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33 3421 13 9
17
11
10
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Actinopterygii
Anthozoa
Aves
Echinodermata
Elasmobranchii
Hydrozoa
Malacostraca
Mammalia
Molluska
Other
Phytoplankton
Materials and Methods
Taxa list Trait selection
Categorical traits:
- Feeding method
- Trophic level
- Prey size
- Motility
- Environmental positioning
- Max. body size
Numerical traits:
- Max. body size
- Number of associated species
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33 3421 13 9
17
11
10
55
Actinopterygii
Anthozoa
Aves
Echinodermata
Elasmobranchii
Hydrozoa
Malacostraca
Mammalia
Molluska
Other
Phytoplankton
Functional diversity indices
1. Functional richness
& Unique Trait Combinations (UTC).
2. Functional evenness.
3. Functional divergence.
Mouillot et al. 2011 PLoS ONE
Functional diversity with depth
Taxa and Unique Trait Combination (UTC) decrease with depth.
Functional Diversity Indices (FDI) show a wider representation of the functional space at
shallower depths (0-200 m), which decrease with depth, being 200 1200 m a transitional
area between the two ends.
Trait relationships with ecosystem function
in corals from Condor Seamount
R2Adj = 0.69
GLM: P < 0.01
Leiopathes glaberrima
NOAA OER/BOEM
Conclusions
Applications of the FUN Azores database
Assessment of changes in functional diversity with removal of
sensitive species to global change and anthropogenic threats.
Broader categorical information is less precise but can cover a
larger taxonomic and spatial range.
Assessment of specific trait relationships with ecosystem function to
inform prioritization process in conservation and ecosystem
management.
More specific numerical information increases presion but
reduces numbers and types.
Acknowledgements
FUN AZORES is a project by OKEANOS R&D Centre of the Azores University. Project co-
funded by AÇORES 2020, through the FEDER fund from the European Union. ACORES
01-0145-FEDER-000123
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