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Ecology Seminar: Unravelling the paradox of exceptional deep-sea biodiversity (Dr. Craig McClain, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium)

02/27/2019 - 12:15pm
Hubbs Hall #4500
Event Description: 

The diversity of the deep-sea benthos can rival that of tropical rainforests, reaching ~300 species within a square meter. Multiple hypotheses have emerged to explain the apparent paradox of high diversity of the deep when the environmental conditions would be predicted to inhibit rather than promote diversity. This high coexistence of deep-sea species is often linked to microhabitat variation particularly in carbon availability. In the words of Grassle (1989), “The mosaic of food resources…maintain the high diversity in deep-sea communities.” In my talk, I will discuss my lab’s research on 5 key themes related to the patch-mosaic hypothesis. 1. Patchiness is detectable in deep-sea communities and species. 2. Microscale patchiness reflects patterns of carbon availability. 3. Species are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. species have an energetic niche. 4. Species with different energetic niches exhibit different patterns in biodiversity. 5. Patterns are detectable when carbon availability is experimentally manipulated.

For more information on this event, contact: 
Olívia S. Pereira
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