The Cumacea of the Antarctic deep-sea expeditions ANDEEP I to III


Dr. Ute Mühlenhardt-Siegel 
Universität Hamburg
Centrum für Naturkunde
Abteilung Wirbellose Tiere II


During the Antarctic expeditions ANDEEP I and II (January to April 2002) and ANDEEP III (January to April 2005) epibenthic sledge (EBS) samples were taken from different Antarctic deep-sea basins. In total 7026 specimens of Cumacea were sorted from the epibenthic sledge samples of the ANDEEP I to III expeditions, and from all samples of the ANT XV/3 expedition. The DIVA-1 project (Meteor Expedition Me 48/1 to the Angola Basin, July 2000) investigated the deep-sea basin off Angola and resulted in 41 new species of the order Cumacea. Only one species was already known (Mühlenhardt-Siegel 2003, 2005 a, b, c, d, e). It seems therefore reasonable to expect many new species from the deep-sea basins of the Southern Ocean. Cumacea were frequently found in the benthic community of the deep-sea basins; within the peracarid crustaceans they ranked third in abundance after Amphipoda and Isopoda. The Cumacea are an important subject for biogeographical studies, as well as for diversity, distribution, faunal overlap and colonisation of the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean and the adjacent deep-sea basins because they have a benthic life style and - as all peracarids - no free larvae, resulting in a limited active and passive distribution.

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