Understanding causes and consequences of increased levels of biodiversity. A case study based on nematodes from different bathyal habitats under contrasting productivity regimes

Progress not set: October 2012 -

"Most of the deep-sea ecosystems depend on primary production in surface waters for their food supply, whereby organic matter sinks to the bottom. Contrasting hydrodynamic regimes and disturbance frequencies, and availability and quality of food resources between seafloor features have been shown to shape communities notably differently and result in variable biodiversity.
The meiofauna, and specially nematodes, represent a major component of most deep-sea ecosystems, although it is still not clear what explains their great success and what is the importance of their high biodiversity. In order to better understand these patterns we make use of correlative and manipulative research strategies to try to unravel nematode’s specific food sources and feeding selectivity in combination with the importance and role of their biodiversity for food-web efficiency in different deep-sea environments. Comparison of different ecosystems will further allow to better understand the importance of the habitat heterogeneity to the overall deep-sea diversity."