The response of deep-sea benthic and benthopelagic communities to perturbation in the North East Atlantic (1989-)

Data set information

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Data holding centreNational Oceanography Centre (Southampton)
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom 1989 onwards
Geographical area

Eastern North Atlantic Ocean. Work areas centred on EU station 48° 50'N, 16° 30'W. Also 31° N, 21° W; projected site at 20° N, 30° W.


Bacteria taxonomy-related biomass expressed as carbon per unit volume of the water column; Bacteria environmental parameters; Bacteria taxonomic abundance in water bodies; Bacteria non taxonomy-related biomass expressed as carbon per unit volume of the water column; Bacteria generic abundance in water bodies; Bacteria generic abundance in sediment; Primary production in the water column; Plankton abundance per unit volume of the water column; Zoobenthos taxonomic abundance; Zoobenthos taxonomy-related counts; Bacteria taxonomic abundance in sediment; Zoobenthos generic abundance; Bacteria morphology and physiology; Biological detritus in the water column suspended particulate material; Fauna abundance per unit area of the bed


Underwater cameras; pelagic trawl nets; benthos samplers; cameras; sediment traps; unconsolidated sediment corers


The aim of DEEPSEAS is to study the responses of deep sea benthic and benthopelagic communities to perturbation. A comparison is made at the species to community level between areas where deep winter mixing and marked seasonality of primary production result in a strong pulse of phytodetritus to the deep sea floor, and areas under shallow winter mixing and near constant primary production where phytodetritus deposition is at a very low level and quasi-aseasonal. . Gears listed have sampled organisms in the bacteria to megafaunal size range and obtained photographic records of megafaunal abundance, necrophage behaviour and benthic activity. Between September 1996 and September 1998 6 cruises were conducted to the same site to study seasonal changes. Comparing data from all cruises from 1989 cruises onwards, long-term changes have been detected in depp-sea fauna. Sorting and analysis of samples is in progress, and involves collaboration with the Natural History Museum London and the Universities of Galway, Liverpool, Queen's Belfast and Brest, Gothenburg, Gent, Patras, Aricona, IFREMER, GEOMAR, CNRS, SAMS, NIOZ and the Alfred Wegener Institute.

OriginatorsNational Oceanography Centre (Southampton)
OrganisationNational Oceanography Centre (Southampton)
AvailabilityBy negotiation

National Oceanography Centre (Southampton)
University of Southampton Waterfront Campus European Way
SO14 3ZH
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 23 8059 6666
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1017004
Global identifier265
Last revised2009-12-01