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Rénald Belley

Benthic macrofaunal biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in contrasting Canadian marine ecosystems

Rénald Belley
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I did my Masters at the Université du Québec à Rimouski with Drs. Philippe Archambault and Bjorn Sundby. Using a benthic camera, I studied the effects of hypoxia on benthic macrofauna and bioturbation traces on the seafloor of the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Paul Snelgrove

Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of NL

01/2010 - present

Ecosystem Function, EF-13: Real time study of community dynamics and natural variability

The relationships between macrobenthic (organisms > 300 μm in size) biodiversity and the processes mediated by these organisms are poorly known and results from the deep sea challenge otherwise widely accepted relationships. Using sediment cores, I will study these relationships in three contrasting Canadian marine ecosystems: 1) the Gulf of Maine, 2) the VENUS cabled observatory in Saanich Inlet and the Strait of Georgia, and 3) the NEPTUNE Canada observatory off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Indicators of ecosystem processes (e.g., nutrient fluxes, benthic oxygen uptake) and different biodiversity indices (e.g., species richness, functional diversity) from those different locations will be used to determine these relationships.

The specific project/thesis aims are:

    1. Model of the relationships between macrofaunal biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
    2. Provide a list of indicators of ecosystems processes to assess the functioning and health of a habitat.
    3. Provide baseline dataset for future deep ocean management and conservation initiatives.




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