Unusually high abundances of sponges and gorgonian corals, covering as much as 25% of the bottom, occur at depths greater than 3.5 km on the Blake Spur, a rocky cliff-dominated feature on the western Atlantic continental margin. This is the first report of such high abundances of megafauna from a non-hydrothermal or otherwise chemosynthetically enriched site in abyssal depths. Animal densities at other steep rocky sites at similar depths are usually lower by more than an order of magnitude. The deep slope of the Blake Spur is exposed to the vigorous Western Boundary Undercurrent, with local flow speeds that may exceed 100 cm s-1. Currents can control this anomalous animal abundance by removing sediments and by enhancing fluxes, rather than concentrations, of food particles to the dominant suspension feeders. ?? 1992.
Additional Publication Details
Anomalous abundances of deep-sea fauna on a rocky bottom exposed to strong currents
Deep Sea Research Part A, Oceanographic Research Papers