Deep sea: Does the Mid-Atlantic Ridge serve as a barrier for benthic species distribution?

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
The abyssal seafloor makes up > 60% of our planet´s surface but it is nevertheless largely unexplored. In the Atlantic, transform faults and fracture zones characterize most of the seafloor bathymetry and the volcanic and tectonic process which create and modify the crust can be deduced from their bathymetric signature. This study aims to investigate variations in the meiofaunal benthic communities along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and to test the hypothesis whether the Mid-Atlantic Ridge serves as a barrier limiting meiobenthic species distribution. Sediment samples will be collected with a Multicorer. This study will mainly consist of sample’s analyses and processing, and identification of the meiofauna before and after the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in order to observe possible variations in abyssal biodiversity and biomass. Environmental variables will be used to characterize the community ecology.
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Lidia Lins
Reference Number: RP-35292