ABSTRACT:Aremotely operated vehicle was used to sample a graywhale carcass five days after it was deployed at a depth of 382 m in Monterey Canyon, California. Visual observations of the whale-fall (Whale-382p) documented that it was in the first stage of decomposition (the â€œnecrophageâ€ stage), with abundant hagfish and amphipods surrounding the carcass. A 21-cm, lithologically consistent fine-grained push core was taken under the carcass and analyzed for benthic foraminifera. No endemic foraminiferal species were found at this site. Pseudoparrella pacifica dominated both the living and dead assemblages. A general trend of decreasing foraminiferal abundance and species richness among the living and dead faunas was evident downcore, although several intervals below 5 cm contained a higher-than-expected abundance, species richness, and estuarine or shelfal benthic foraminifera, suggesting deposition of distal turbiditic deposits at the core site which is a common occurrence in Monterey Canyon.Because the percentage abundance of living and dead specimens of P. pacifica were similar in the upper 5 cm of the core (89% and 82%, respectively), the whale-fall does not appear to have influenced the benthic foraminiferal assemblage after five days on the seafloor.
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