Autores: Octavio Quintanar-Retama, Maickel Armenteros, Adolfo Gracia


The distribution and composition at the genus level of polychaetes greater than 500 μm of 54 sites in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico in a depth range of 185–3762 m were analyzed. Samples were collected on board the R/V Justo Sierra (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in two cruises carried out in June 2015 and September 2016. Sixty-nine genera belonging to 33 families were recorded. The families with the highest abundance were: Spionidae, Paraonidae, Pilargidae and Capitellidae. Spionidae, Capitellidae and Paraonidae families presented the highest genus richness. The highest abundance was observed in the southern region of the study area and in the upper bathyal zone while the highest taxonomic richness was registered in the Campeche Bay, in the northwestern region of the study area and in intermediate depths. Polychaeta community functional diversity (bioturbation traits and feeding guilds) was also analyzed. A general decrease in functional diversity was observed as depth increased, presenting a partial biodiffusors and deposit-feeders dominance in the deepest zones. Distribution was highly related with depth, sediment granulometry, temperature and dissolved oxygen concentration of the bottom water.

Keywords: Deep sea, Annelida, Polychaeta, Macrofauna, Gulf of Mexico