Biodiversity and Biological Production at a Shallow NE Atlantic Seamount (Ampère Seamount) - Cruise No. M83/2 (English)

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Cruise M83/2 aimed at a characterization of the Ampère Seamount ecosystem and at an analysis of its driving forces. Ampère is part of the Horeshoe Seamount Chain which extends between Portugal mainland and the island of Madeira. The results of the study will be compared to other seamounts in the NE Atlantic, in particular to the well-studied Seine Seamount which is located 100 nm to the SW of Ampère. Based on preliminary studies in the region, the project will test the hypothesis that, due to different flow conditions and/or different substrate properties, the Ampère Seamount ecosystem is characterized by different community patterns, a higher diversity and productivity and a different trophic structure, as compared to Seine Seamount. The cruise covered physical, geological, biogeochemical and biological sampling at and around Ampère Seamount. Basis were longitudinal and cross transects (with respect to mean flow) above the seamount, in comparison to reference stations outside the sphere of influence of the seamount. A variety of different sampling gears were employed, including CTD-rosette, plankton nets, benthic trawls, dredge, landers, longlines and traps, to assess, among others, the hydrographic properties of the water column, the dynamics of particulate organic matter, benthic and pelagic communities, and the properties of sedimentary and rocky substrates.