Abstract of Daniel L. Geiger's papers

A survey of the marine fauna of the St. Kilda archipelago.
Cadman, P., J. Ellis, D. Geiger & S. Piertney. 1993. Expedition report, supported by World Wildlife Fund. 38 pp.

WWF logo 1. The St. Kilda archipelago is a unique habitat due to its geographic isolation, depth of surrounding waters and high degree of exposure.
2. It is internationally recognized for the extensive sea bird colonies, many of which are reliant on the marine ecosystem.
3. The environmental impact from man is negligible and St. Kilda may be considered to be a pristine habitat.
4. The marine environment of the islands shows a relatively low species biodiversity in comparison to many other areas, although those species which are present (eg. sessile cnidarians, bryozoans etc.) may be extremely abundant. Other groups for example benthic and epibenthic fish, are poorly represented with the exception of the abundant Pollachius sp..
5. It is possible that the sandy beach of Village Bay may have undergone a severe change since the 1959s with the once abundant Eurydice not recorded in the present study. The apparent disappearance of this species may be due to natural fluctuations in abiotic and biotic factors, although human impact cannot be ruled out.
6. The British distribution ranges of several species have been extended by the northerly records collected during the present study. These include Okenia elegans (Opisthobranchia), Octopus vulgaris (Cephalopoda), and Callionymus reticulatus (Teleostei).
7. For several taxa, the present study has increased the number of species known to occur within the archipelago (eg. Polychaeta, Teleostei, Crustacea), however, more species will be recorded with additional surveys in the future.
8. The marine ecology of the area requires additional research in a variety of areas in order that the marine environment may be fully appreciated.
9. Due to the factors mentioned above (1-3) St. Kilda could be proposed to be established as either a marine nature reserve (MNR), site of special scientific interest (SSSI), or special area of conservation (SAC).

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