A qualitative zoogeographic analysis of decapod crustaceans of the continental slopes and abyssal plain of the Gulf of Mexico Academic Article uri icon


  • Occurrence of 130 species of decapod crustaceans was compared between the continental slope (200-2500 m) and the abyssal plain (2500-3840 m) of the Gulf of Mexico. We compiled records of these species from published literature and from the crustacean catalogue of the Marine Invertebrate Collection of Texas A&M University. Each species was scored as present or absent in each of 10 polygons that were defined by physiographic features of the sea floor. Using cluster analysis, we identified inherent patterns of species richness. A distinct faunal assemblage occurred in the Sigsbee Abyssal Plain. This deep plain was a potential "coldspot" in terms of the number of species in the basin, compared to a "hotspot" in the vicinity of De Soto Canyon. Polygons of the eastern upper slopes (i.e. calcareous substrate of western Florida) contained the most species that were not found elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. Using an inductive approach, we identified the following hypotheses: (1) most crustacean species of the deep Sigsbee Abyssal Plain occur in oceans world-wide, (2) overall, almost a quarter of the deep sea species in the Gulf of Mexico range from the western Atlantic (south of Cape Hatteras) to the Caribbean, and (3) the Gulf of Mexico is particularly rich in species of Munidopsis (25 species). 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Wicksten, M. K., & Packard, J. M.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Wicksten, MK||Packard, JM

publication date

  • September 2005