Theses and Dissertations

Defense Date

10-17-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Tamara Frank

Second Advisor

Tracey Sutton

Third Advisor

Charles Messing

Abstract

Bear Seamount (39° 55’ N; 67° 30’ W) is the westernmost peak of extinct undersea volcanoes in the New England Seamount Chain (Moore et al., 2003). It is located on the continental slope off Georges Bank, and is governed by unique environmental factors and currents that may be unlike those of the other seamounts (Moore et al., 2003). Previous cruises to this seamount have been successful in capturing abundant fishes, cephalopods and invertebrates (Moore et al., 2003; Moore et al., 2004; Moore et al., 2008), but only the distribution patterns of the fishes and cephalopods have been examined, leaving a lack of information on the deep-sea crustaceans. The diversity, catch per unit effort (CPUE) and biogeography of trawl-vulnerable micronekton in the vicinity of Bear Seamount were investigated, with primary focus on baseline data collection. Sixty-six species of pelagic Crustacea (Decapoda, Lophogastrida, and Euphausiacea) were collected at 35 trawl stations in the spring of 2003 and 2004 and fall of 2014 with the International Young Gadoid Pelagic Trawl (IYGPT) and a Polytron Midwater Rope Trawl (PMRT). Depths sampled ranged from the surface to 1700 m, with most trawls sampling primarily below 1000 m. When comparing relative biogeography of the nekton in IYGPT samples, the assemblage on the south side of the seamount was the most diverse, while the summit assemblage was the most abundant and species rich. In the PMRT samples, the summit assemblage was the most diverse and species rich while the assemblage on the west side had the greatest abundance. Overall CPUE was dominated by cold temperate species, typical of mid- to higher latitudes in the North Atlantic. Eusergestes arcticus and Meganyctiphanes norvegica were particularly dominant in both the IYGPT and PMRT samples. At least two species were new records for Northwest Atlantic waters and may have traveled by means of currents and/or from nearby seamounts.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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