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A live video observatory reveals temporal processes at a shelf-depth whale-fall

Journal article
Authors A. G. Glover
N. D. Higgs
P. M. Bagley
R. Carlsson
A. J. Davies
K. M. Kemp
K. S. Last
Karl Norling
Rutger Rosenberg
K. A. Wallin
B. Kallstrom
T. G. Dahlgren
Published in Cahiers De Biologie Marine
Volume 51
Issue 4
Pages 375-381
ISSN 0007-9723
Publication year 2010
Published at Department of Marine Ecology
Pages 375-381
Language en
Keywords Skeletonization, Taphonomy, Porpoise, Carcass, Scavengers, Bacterial, mat, Forensic, DEEP-SEA, NORTH-ATLANTIC, CONSUMPTION, REMAINS, WORMS, FAUNA
Subject categories Marine ecology


There have been very few studies of temporal processes at chemosynthetic ecosystems, even at relatively more accessible shallow water sites. Here we report the development and deployment of a simple cabled video observatory at 30 m water depth in Gullmarsfjorden, Sweden. The camera provides a live video feed to the internet of faunal activity in the experiments, which to date have included 5 separate whale-fall deployments. Our data suggest that the time to decomposition of small cetacean carcasses at shelf-depth settings is considerably slower than at deep-sea sites. We have also provided a new methodology for the deployment of low-cost live video observatories at up to 30 m water depth, which can be used both for research and outreach activities.

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