(Appendix A) Pigment content, microbial biomass and activity, and grain size characteristics in caged and control sites of the Arctic long-term observatory HAUSGARTEN, supplement to: Gallucci, Fabiane; Sauter, Eberhard-Jürgen; Sachs, Oliver; Klages, Michael; Soltwedel, Thomas (2008): Caging experiment in the deep sea: Efficiency and artefacts from a case study at the Arctic long-term observatory HAUSGARTEN. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 354(1), 39-55


Present theories of deep-sea community organization recognize the importance of small-scale biological disturbances, originated partly from the activities of epibenthic megafaunal organisms, in maintaining high benthic biodiversity in the deep sea. However, due to technical difficulties, in situ experimental studies to test hypotheses in the deep sea are lacking. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential of cages as tools for studying the importance of epibenthic megafauna for deep-sea benthic communities. Using the deep-diving Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) "VICTOR 6000", six experimental cages were deployed at the sea floor at 2500 m water depth and sampled after 2 years (2y) and 4 years (4y) for a variety of sediment parameters in order to test for caging artefacts. Photo and video footage from both experiments showed that the cages were efficient at excluding the targeted fauna. The cage also proved to be appropriate to deep-sea studies considering the fact that there was no fouling on the cages and no evidence of any organism establishing residence on or adjacent to it. Environmental changes inside the cages were dependent on the experimental period analysed. In the 4y experiment, chlorophyll a concentrations were higher in the uppermost centimeter of sediment inside cages whereas in the 2y experiment, it did not differ between inside and outside. Although the cages caused some changes to the sedimentary regime, they are relatively minor compared to similar studies in shallow water. The only parameter that was significantly higher under cages at both experiments was the concentration of phaeopigments. Since the epibenthic megafauna at our study site can potentially affect phytodetritus distribution and availability at the seafloor (e.g. via consumption, disaggregation and burial), we suggest that their exclusion was, at least in part, responsible for the increases in pigment concentrations. Cages might be suitable tools to study the long-term effects of disturbances caused by megafaunal organisms on the diversity and community structure of smaller-sized organisms in the deep sea, although further work employing partial cage controls, greater replication, and evaluating faunal components will be essential to unequivocally establish their utility.

DOI https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.847777
Related Identifier https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2007.10.006
Metadata Access https://ws.pangaea.de/oai/provider?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=datacite4&identifier=oai:pangaea.de:doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.847777
Creator Gallucci, Fabiane; Sauter, Eberhard-Jürgen; Sachs, Oliver; Klages, Michael; Soltwedel, Thomas
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 2008
Funding Reference German Science Foundation, 5472008
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 860 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (4.100W, 79.070S, 4.127E, 79.072N); Hausgarten; North Greenland Sea
Temporal Coverage Begin 1999-07-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2003-07-27T00:00:00Z