Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: The Biogeographic Distribution of Davidson Seamount Megafauna.
Student Author(s): Ream, Micki
Faculty Advisor(s): Somero, George and McClain, Craig
Pages: 15
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 2008
Abstract: Seamounts are topographic features that extend upwards a thousand meters or more from the ocean floor, but peak below the water's surface. Initial studies of seamount biota proposed a high level of endemicity on seamounts. However, further work has called this assumption into question. For the first time, global biogeographic ranges have been gathered for a marine assemblage, namely that of the Davidson Seamount (~35.7° N, 122.7° W). Only five percent of Davidson fauna are localized to this seamount, with the majority observed over a continuum of geographic ranges. As further evidence against the endemicity hypothesis, eighty percent of the fauna have been found over a thousand kilometers away from Davidson Seamount. Moreover, taxonomic and sampling improvements have the potential to increase this figure, which suggests that most deep-sea assemblages are composed of widely distributed species.