Gutt, J et al. (2010): Physical oceanography, sea-bed photographs and videos of benthos from the Weddell Sea taken with remote operated vehicle CHEROKEE during POLARSTERN cruise ANT-XXIII/8. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.702107, Supplement to:Gutt, Julian; Barratt, Iain; Domack, Eugene W; d'Udekem d'Acoz, Cédric; Dimmler, Werner; Grémare, Antoine; Heilmayer, Olaf; Isla, Enrique; Janussen, Dorte; Jorgensen, Elaina; Kock, Karl-Hermann; Lehnert, Linn Sophia; López-Gonzáles, Pablo José; Langner, Stephanie; Linse, Katrin; Manjón-Cabeza, Maria Eugenia; Meißner, Meike; Montiel, Américo; Raes, Maarten; Robert, Henri; Rose, Armin; Schepisi, Elisabet Sañé; Saucède, Thomas; Scheidat, Meike; Schenke, Hans Werner; Seiler, Jan; Smith, Craig (2011): Biodiversity change after climate-induced ice-shelf collapse in the Antarctic. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 58(1-2), 74-83, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.05.024
The marine ecosystem on the eastern shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula was surveyed 5 and 12 years after the climate-induced collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves. An impoverished benthic fauna was discovered, that included deep-sea species presumed to be remnants from ice-covered conditions. The current structure of various ecosystem components appears to result from extremely different response rates to the change from an oligotrophic sub-ice-shelf ecosystem to a productive shelf ecosystem. Meiobenthic communities remained impoverished only inside the embayments. On local scales, macro- and mega-epibenthic diversity was generally low, with pioneer species and typical Antarctic megabenthic shelf species interspersed. Antarctic Minke whales and seals utilised the Larsen A/B area to feed on presumably newly established krill and pelagic fish biomass. Ecosystem impacts also extended well beyond the zone of ice-shelf collapse, with areas of high benthic disturbance resulting from scour by icebergs discharged from the Larsen embayments.