IBIOMAR - CENPAT   25620
INSTITUTO DE BIOLOGIA DE ORGANISMOS MARINOS
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
ASSOCIATION BETWEEN BRITTLE STARS (ECHINODERMATA: OPHIUROIDEA) AND CORALS (CNIDARIA: ANTHOZOA) FROM ARGENTINEAN DEEP SEA.
MARTÍN BROGGER; JUAN JOSE BERECOECHEA; DANIEL LAURETTA; NADIA CERINO; PABLO E. PENCHASZADEH
Simposio; 51st European Marine Biology Symposium; 2016
Deep water corals are found in all of the world´s oceans, and are most common at depths between 200 and 1000 m. In the tropical waters they form complex habitats with high diversity associated organisms, but little is known about their associated fauna in deep-water. Brittle stars are remarkable echinoderms due to their trends to epizoism and ectocommensalism, as well as symbionts. They are able to hold on to other animals due to their flexible arms, especially sponges and cnidarians, allowing them to live above the substrate, feeding on suspended particles from the current. The present work aims to report the associations between octocorals and hydrocorals and brittle stars from the Argentinean sea for the first time. Composition, distribution and association of this fauna is described based on material collected from Mar del Plata´s Canyon. Samples were collected during several sampling campaigns from 2012 to 2014 using a bottom trawl and fishing nets. Specimens were preserved in ethanol 96% and photographed in situ using a SLR digital camera.The collected material consists of 12 samples. A total of 56 individuals and approximately 9 species were recorded. Corals organisms were identified as Stylaster sp. and the Primnoidae family such as Plumarella sp., Primnoella sp., Thouarella sp., Onogorgia sp. Brittle stars host associated with corals were identified as Astrotoma sp., Gorgonocepahalus sp., Asteronyx sp. and Ophicantha sp. Some of this species are major records for Argentinean deep sea. The ability to live in a variety of habitats may represent an adaptation for species with short larval periods or direct development to ensure successful dispersal in the long run. However, little is known about the life history for most of the species occurring on deep-water corals. A characteristic of cold-water colonial coral species is their widespread but fragmented spatial distribution due to the sparse hard substratum where the colony can settle, so they act as a substrate amplifier. Therefore it is very important to incorporate the associated community when assessing the status of deep water corals as well as deep water diversity.