University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

A Southern Hemisphere bathyal fauna is distributed in latitudinal bands

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 08:15 authored by O'Hara, TD, Rowden, AA, Bax, NJ
The large-scale spatial distribution of seafloor fauna is still poorly understood. In particular, the bathyal zone has been identified as the key depth stratum requiring further macroecological research [1], particularly in the Southern Hemisphere [2]. Here we analyze a large biological data set derived from 295 research expeditions, across an equator-to-pole sector of the Indian, Pacific, and Southern oceans, to show that the bathyal ophiuroid fauna is distributed in three broad latitudinal bands and not primarily differentiated by oceanic basins as previously assumed. Adjacent faunas form transitional ecoclines rather than biogeographical breaks. This pattern is similar to that in shallow water despite the order-of-magnitude reduction in the variability of environmental parameters at bathyal depths. A reliable biogeography is fundamental to establishing a representative network of marine reserves across the world's oceans [1, 3].


Publication title

Current Biology








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Cell Press

Place of publication

1100 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, USA, Ma, 02138

Rights statement

Copyright 2011 Elsevier Ltd

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Marine biodiversity