Metazoan meiofauna biomass, grazing, and weight-dependent respiration in the Northern Gulf of Mexico deep sea Academic Article uri icon


  • Metazoan meiofauna are ubiquitous in marine soft sediments and play a pivotal role in diagenesis of particulate organic matter. However, the relative importance of meiofauna to the function of deep-sea benthic boundary layer communities has not been resolved. Here, meiofauna biomass, respiration, and grazing on aerobic heterotrophic bacteria were estimated and compared to standing stocks and fluxes of other benthic components (e.g., bacteria and macrofauna). Biomass and respiration declined with depth. Highest biomass and respiration occurred in the proximity of the Mississippi River on the upper continental slope of the central Gulf of Mexico. Meiofauna required 7% of their biomass per day to meet their metabolic energy budget, compared to approximately 24% day-1 in shallow water. Respiration accounted for 8-22% of whole sediment community respiration (SCOC), reflecting the importance of meiofauna in diagenesis, deep-sea carbon budgets, and global biogeochemical cycles. 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Baguley, J. G., Montagna, P. A., Hyde, L. J., & Rowe, G. T.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Baguley, Jeffrey G||Montagna, Paul A||Hyde, Larry J||Rowe, Gilbert T

publication date

  • January 2018