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Submersible observations of the invertebrate fauna on the continental-slope southwest of ireland (ne atlantic-ocean)

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  • Bathyal Hard Ground Fauna
  • Depth Zonation
  • Suspension Feeders
  • Anthozoa
  • Echinodermata


Relatively little is known of the fauna found on rock substrates in the deep ocean. As a result of the Franco-British deep diving cruise Cyaporc in 1986 using the submersible Cyana we present observations of a highly diverse sponge, cnidarian and echinoderm fauna occurring between 1 800 and 3 000 m on the steep slopes to the west of the Porcupine Bank and Goban Spur. This fauna is dominated. by suspension feeders and appears to show a vertical zonation corresponding to water mass structure. The highest biomass and variety of echinoderms are found between 2 100 and 2 600 m bathed in northward flowing North East Atlantic Deep Water. We present also additional observations of species known from previous sampling programmes but rarely photographed in their natural environment.

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