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Jieying Na, Wanying Chen, Dongsheng Zhang, Ruiyan Zhang, Bo Lu, Chengcheng Shen, Yadong Zhou, Chunsheng Wang. Morphological description and population structure of an ophiuroid species from cobalt-rich crust seamounts in the Northwest Pacific: implications for marine protection under deep-sea mining[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1666-1
Citation: Jieying Na, Wanying Chen, Dongsheng Zhang, Ruiyan Zhang, Bo Lu, Chengcheng Shen, Yadong Zhou, Chunsheng Wang. Morphological description and population structure of an ophiuroid species from cobalt-rich crust seamounts in the Northwest Pacific: implications for marine protection under deep-sea mining[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1666-1

Morphological description and population structure of an ophiuroid species from cobalt-rich crust seamounts in the Northwest Pacific: implications for marine protection under deep-sea mining

doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1666-1
Funds:  The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 42076135; the Foundation of China Ocean Mineral Resources R & D Association under contract Nos DY135-E2-2-06 and DY135-E2-2-03; the Project of State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography under contract No. SOEDZZ2002; the Scientific Research Fund of the Second Institute of Oceanography, MNR under contract No. JG1528.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: dszhang@sio.org.cn
  • Received Date: 2020-03-04
  • Accepted Date: 2020-07-30
  • Available Online: 2021-06-29
  • Many seamounts are covered with cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, and are increasingly attracting interest for the potential extraction of valuable mineral resources from deep seabed environments. However, the impacts of potential mining activities on the vulnerable seamount ecosystem remain unclear. To enhance the understanding of connectivity in benthic invertebrate populations in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, several seamounts were surveyed and biological samples collected. In the present study, the ophiuroid species Ophioplinthaca defensor is reported for the first time from four deep seamounts in the Northwest Pacific, and described, providing more detailed morphological diagnosis characters. To assess the population structure of the species between and within seamounts, two mitochondrial markers (COI and 16S) were sequenced. In total, 20 haplotypes from 32 COI sequences and 8 haplotypes from 37 16S sequences were recovered. The star-shaped TCS networks and non-significant pairwise population differences reveal the absence of distinct population structures between and within seamounts. In addition, the O. defensor population seemed to have undergone a demographic expansion in history. This is the first study on the genetic population structure of a benthic invertebrate from seamounts in the Northwest Pacific, and this results suggest a potentially high, long distance dispersal capacity in O. defensor between seamounts, which could inform the development of the Regional Environmental Management Plans for the cobalt-rich crust seamounts in the area.
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