Are trenches hotspots of biodiversity?

Type: 
Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
programme: 
EMBC+
Trenches, in general, are considered as great reservoirs of organic matter derived from the surface waters. Due to this high accumulation of organic matter, they are considered as potential hotspots of biodiversity, harbouring a high diversity and density of benthic organisms which depend on organic matter for their survival. Due to the high depth, trenches are poorly studied, especially when considering the meiofauna. For the Porto Rico trench, it is the first time that a sampling with the Multicorer occurred in order to study these organisms. Samples were taken at 8338 m and aim to study the meiofauna structure and their link to abiotic variables, such as chlorophyll and total organic matter. Changes in the community structure are expected due to the potential high input of organic matter from the surface.
prerequisites: 
none
Number of students: 
2
academic year: 
2015-2016
Contact person email: 
contact person first name: 
Lidia Lins
Reference Number: RP-35322