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The effect of the North Atlantic Subpolar Front as a boundary in pelagic biogeography decreases with increasing depth and organism size

Michael Vecchione, Tone Falkenhaug, Tracey Sutton, April Cook, Astthor Gislason, Hege Øverbø Hansen, Mikko Heino, Peter I. Miller, Uwe Piatkowski, Filipe Porteiro, Henrik Søiland, Odd Aksel Bergstad
Progress in oceanography 2015 v.138 pp. 105-115
biogeography, nekton, oceans, zooplankton, Arctic region, Atlantic Ocean
Broad-scale patterns in the distribution of deep-sea pelagic species and communities are poorly known. An important question is whether biogeographic boundaries identified from surface features are important in the deep mesopelagic and bathypelagic. We present community analyses of discrete-depth samples of mesozooplankton and micronekton to full-ocean depth collected in the area where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is crossed by the Subpolar Front. The results show that the distributional discontinuity associated with the front, which is strong near the surface, decreases with increasing depth. Both the frontal separation near the surface and the community convergence at increasing depths were clearer for mesozooplankton than for micronekton.