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Spatial and temporal variability in the composition and structure of meiobenthic assemblages (especially nematodes) in tropical beaches (Guadeloupe, FWI)

Gourbault, N.E., Warwick, R.M. and Helléouet, M-N (1998) Spatial and temporal variability in the composition and structure of meiobenthic assemblages (especially nematodes) in tropical beaches (Guadeloupe, FWI). Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 39 (1). pp. 29-39.

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Abstract

Short term fluctuations in physical parameters are particularly important in determining faunal diversity of intertidal beaches, and the main objective of this paper is to describe the situation on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe with respect to the meiobenthos of this habitat. A meiofaunal inventory was established for 23 beaches in 1979 and six representative beaches were surveyed in five more times up to 1984. The proportions of higher meiofauna taxa present were highly variable in both space and time, and are shown to correlate with sediment grain-size and CaCO3 content. The nematode generic composition was highly variable at the more wave-exposed locations, but less so at the more sheltered locations. There was a significant effect of grain-size on the generic composition of the samples, but not on the univariate measures of species diversity. Dominanc epattern svaried over time at a given location, but the trends of variation are not consistent among stations. Interpretation of future changes in community composition in terms of anthropogenic activities must therefore be approached with caution. For example, changes which might be regarded as indicative of organic pollution, such as switches from copepod dominance to nematode dominance, are shown to occur naturally over short periods of time (<1 yr) on the same beach.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Station Biologique de Roscoff
Publishers Website: http://www.sb-roscoff.fr/cbm/issue.htm?execution=e...
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/23339
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