The community structure of decapod crustacean assemblages was established and analysed from two experimental trawl samplings. The data were taken in the south-west Balearic Islands (Algerian Basin, western Mediterranean Sea) at depths ranging from ∼200 to 1800 m. The results of multivariate analysis indicate that the community structure remained constant between samplings. The analysis also revealed that there exist differences between bathyal decapod communities at a regional level (<1000 km) when compared with well-studied nearby areas. The differences relate mainly to the relative contribution of different species and feeding guilds, not to the taxonomic composition of the assemblages studied. It is proposed that these differences result from contrasting surface production regimes (coastal vs open sea) and food web organization (relative dependence on mesopelagic or infaunal prey).
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