Meirelles et al. 2015

scientific article | PLoS ONE | open access Open access small aa108fa7f478951c693af64a05bc4b46e6711dbb69a20809512a129d4d6b870f

Baseline Assessment of Mesophotic Reefs of the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain Based on Water Quality, Microbial Diversity, Benthic Cover and Fish Biomass Data

Meirelles PM, Amado-Filho GM, Pereira-Filho GH, Pinheiro HT, de Moura RL, Joyeux J-C, Mazzei EF, Bastos AC, Edwards RA, Dinsdale E, Paranhos R, Santos EO, Lida T, Gotoh K, Nakamura S, Sawabe T, Rezende CE, Gadelha Jr LMR, Francini-Filho RB, Thompson C, Thompson FL

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Seamounts are considered important sources of biodiversity and minerals. However, their biodiversity and health status are not well understood; therefore, potential conservation problems are unknown. The mesophotic reefs of the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain (VTC) were investigated via benthic community and fish surveys, metagenomic and water chemistry analyses, and water microbial abundance estimations. The VTC is a mosaic of reef systems and includes fleshy algae dominated rhodolith beds, crustose coralline algae (CCA) reefs, and turf algae dominated rocky reefs of varying health levels. Macro-carnivores and larger fish presented higher biomass at the CCA reefs (4.4 kg per frame) than in the rhodolith beds and rocky reefs (0.0 to 0.1 kg per frame). A larger number of metagenomic sequences identified as primary producers (e.g., Chlorophyta and Streptophyta) were found at the CCA reefs. However, the rocky reefs contained more diseased corals (>90%) than the CCA reefs (~40%) and rhodolith beds (~10%). Metagenomic analyses indicated a heterotrophic and fast-growing microbiome in rocky reef corals that may possibly lead to unhealthy conditions possibly enhanced by environmental features (e.g. light stress and high loads of labile dissolved organic carbon). VTC mounts represent important hotspots of biodiversity that deserve further conservation actions.

Research sites

10.1371   journal.pone.0130084
Meta-data (pending validation)
Depth range
15- 71 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
39 x (total of 6871 words)

Biodiversity Community structure Ecology Oceanography Management and Conservation

Research focus
Overall benthic (groups) Fishes

Brazil - Trindade and Martin Vaz

Research platforms
Diving - Technical Open-Circuit Sonar / Multibeam Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)
Author profiles