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Observations of the ophiuroids from the West Antarctic sector of the Southern Ocean

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 August 2012

Chester J. Sands*
British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
Huw J. Griffiths
British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
Rachel V. Downey
British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
David K.A. Barnes
British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
Katrin Linse
British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
Rafael Martín-Ledo
Area de Zoología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Extremadura, 06006 Badajoz, Spain


Ophiuroids are a conspicuous and often dominant component of the Antarctic continental shelf benthos. Here we report on the ophiuroids collected from the Burdwood Bank, off the Patagonian Shelf, through the shallow water areas of the Scotia Arc, down the west Antarctic Peninsula and as far south as Pine Island Bay in the eastern Amundsen Sea. This preliminary and primarily pattern based study identifies some regional differences in assemblages and highlights the role of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current as a barrier, as well as a facilitator, to dispersal. In order to effectively compare between studies we highlight the need for accurate, expert taxonomic identification of specimens.

Biological Sciences
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2012

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