Pyrosome corpse observations across the undisturbed and anthropogenically disturbed seafloor of the DISCOL experimental area, Peru Basin

Published: 30 August 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/6nyh68vtv9.1


Deep sea food falls of blooms of upper water fauna are rarely observed. During the SO242-2 expedition to the DISCOL experimental area in 2015, a bloom of pyrosome colonial organisms was observed in the upper waters, with the fate of corpses also observed on the deep sea seafloor with the Ocean Floor Observation System (OFOS) towed camera sled, over a period of several weeks. 13,000+ images were inspected and seafloor pyrosome corpses counted in each image. This data set presents these counts for each image, as well as whether the counts were made on undisturbed seafloor, seafloor ploughed in 1989 as part of the DISCOL project or seafloor turned over earlier in 2015 by epibenthic sled. This data represents a rare example of the recording of the onset and decline in a seafllor food abundance over time. An associated manuscript is in preparation.


Steps to reproduce

All 13,000+ images collected by the 2015 SO242-2 RV Sonne expedition to the DISCOL experimental mining area of the Peru Basin were inspected manually, and the numbers of Pyrosome corpses in each image counted. The attached table shows the number of pyrosome corpses counted for each image. Each image was also identified as reflecting a particular habitat category, namely: 1) Undisturbed seafloor. 2) Seafloor ploughed in 1989 as part of the DISCOL experiment. 3) Seafloor overturned by Epibenthic sled in 2015 during the SO242-1 expedition. The full set of images are publically available from the PANGAEA archive at: Seafloor images are available in PANGAEA at


Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum fur Polar- und Meeresforschung


Marine Ecology, Abundance Estimation, Food Web, Food Web Ecology, Deep Sea, Deep Sea Mining