Antarctic Soft-Bottom Benthos in Oligotrophic and Eutrophic Environments

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Science  01 Jul 1977:
Vol. 197, Issue 4298, pp. 55-58
DOI: 10.1126/science.197.4298.55


The benthos of the east and west sides of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, is characterized by dramatically different infaunal assemblages. The eutrophic East Sound has higher infaunal densities than almost any other benthic assemblage in the world. In contrast, the oligotrophic West Sound, bathed by currents from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, has patterns of mobile epifauna and low infauna density similar to bathyl deep-sea communities.

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