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Segelken-Voigt, Alexandra; Bracher, Astrid; Dorschel, Boris; Gutt, Julian; Huneke, Wilma; Link, Heike; Piepenburg, Dieter (2016): Spatial distribution patterns of ascidians (Ascidiacea: Tunicata) in combination with information on bathymetry, oceanography, chlorophyll-a, and sea-ice on the continental shelves off the northern Antarctic Peninsula during POLARSTERN cruise ANT-XXIX/3. PANGAEA, https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.849291, Supplement to: Segelken-Voigt, A et al. (2016): Spatial distribution patterns of ascidians (Ascidiacea: Tunicata) on the continental shelves off the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biology, 39(5), 863-879, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-016-1909-y

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Abstract:
Ascidians (Ascidiacea: Tunicata) are sessile suspension feeders that represent dominant epifaunal components of the Southern Ocean shelf benthos and play a significant role in the pelagic-benthic coupling. Here, we report the results of a first study on the relationship between the distribution patterns of eight common and/or abundant (putative) ascidian species, and environmental drivers in the waters off the northern Antarctic Peninsula. During RV Polarstern cruise XXIX/3 (PS81) in January-March 2013, we used seabed imaging surveys along 28 photographic transects of 2 km length each at water depths from 70 to 770 m in three regions (northwestern Weddell Sea, southern Bransfield Strait and southern Drake Passage), differing in their general environmental setting, primarily oceanographic characteristics and sea-ice dynamics, to comparatively analyze the spatial patterns in the abundance of the selected ascidians, reliably to be identified in the photographs, at three nested spatial scales. At a regional (100-km) scale, the ascidian assemblages of the Weddell Sea differed significantly from those of the other two regions, whereas at an intermediate 10-km scale no such differences were detected among habitat types (bank, upper slope, slope, deep/canyon) on the shelf and at the shelf break within each region. These spatial patterns were superimposed by a marked small-scale (10-m) patchiness of ascidian distribution within the 2-km-long transects. Among the environmental variables considered in our study, a combination of water-mass characteristics, sea-ice dynamics (approximated by 5-year averages in sea-ice cover in the region of or surrounding the photographic stations), as well as the seabed ruggedness, was identified as explaining best the distribution patterns of the ascidians.
Coverage:
Median Latitude: -62.871663 * Median Longitude: -57.983340 * South-bound Latitude: -64.008246 * West-bound Longitude: -61.232206 * North-bound Latitude: -61.936088 * East-bound Longitude: -54.100406
Date/Time Start: 2013-01-26T09:02:00 * Date/Time End: 2013-03-12T21:00:36
Size:
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