|Title||Biometric assessment of deep-sea vent megabenthic communities using multi-resolution 3D image reconstructions|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Thornton B., Bodenmann A., Pizarro O., Williams S.B, Friedman A., Nakajima R., Takai K., Motoki K., Watsuji T., Hirayama H., Matsui Y., Watanabe H., Ura T.|
|Journal||Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers|
|Type of Article||Article|
|Keywords||3D reconstruction; east pacific rise; Ecological mapping; galapagos; hydrothermal vents; lau spreading center; mapping system; mid-atlantic ridge; ocean crust; okinawa trough; ridge; rift; sulfide edifices; Underwater vehicle; valu fa; Vent-ecology; visual survey|
This paper describes a method to survey the distribution of megabenthos over multi-hectare regions of the seafloor. Quantitative biomass estimates are made by combining high-resolution 3D image reconstructions, used to model spatial relationships between representative taxa, with lower-resolution reconstructions taken over a wider area in which the distribution of larger predatory animals can be observed. The method is applied to a region of the Iheya North field that was the target of scientific drilling during the IODP Expedition 331 in 2010. An area of 2.5 ha was surveyed 3 years and 4 months after the site was drilled. More than 100,000 organisms from 6 taxa were identified. The visible effects of drilling on the distribution of megabenthos were confined to a 20 m radius of the artificially created hydrothermal discharges, with the associated densities of biomass lower than observed in nearby naturally discharging areas. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.