|Identifying cold-water coral reef community composition variation from ROV video|
Chen, J. (2019). Identifying cold-water coral reef community composition variation from ROV video
. Thesis. NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Yerseke. 18 pp.
Carbonate mounds are important seabed features, formed via complex interaction between biological processes and geological processes. Theories and hypotheses describing these processes mainly include (1) ‘environmental control theory’, (2) ‘ecosystem engineer control theory’, and (3) scale-dependent pattern of mound development. Based on these theories, a spatial variation of community composition on the mound is expected. Information of the community composition is able to provide insights over the mound status and its potential development. Therefore, in this study, the community composition has been compared among four areas—the summit area, the upper flank area, the lower flank area, and the off-mound area, using the techniques of between-class analysis (BCA) and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The largest community composition variation is exhibited between the off-mound area and the summit area, which can be mainly explained by the sediments at the off-mound area and dead framework and live Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus, 1758) at the summit area. An overall ‘sediment-dead framework-live coral community on dead framework’ pattern is displayed along the mound slope to the summit area, whereas some unusual patterns of community distribution have been discovered in certain areas. These patterns are believed to be associated with environmental gradients and species ecology. Future study should include environmental variables such as hydrographical features and bathymetric features.