The implications of resource partitioning for the structure of a sand-beach meiofauna community
Warwick, R.M. (1983) The implications of resource partitioning for the structure of a sand-beach meiofauna community. In: McLachlan, A. and Erasmus, T., (eds.) Sandy Beaches as Ecosystems. W. Junk, The Hague, pp. 753-754.
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It is now well established that the nature of the food supply to sandy beaches influences the distribution of macrofauna species, the trophic organization of the macrofaunal community and the pattern of energy flow through this component of the beach fauna (Griffiths et al., this volume). By contrast, the “black box” treatment that meiofauna usually suffer fails to recognise the varied trophic components (bacterial-carnivores etc.), with the result that physico-chemical parameters such as grain size, oxygen concentration and salinity are almost invariably invoked to explain species distribution patterns and community structure. This paper sets out to show that food supply is also a most important factor in determining many properties of community structure and distribution in sandy beach meiofauna, and that without a sound knowledge of the trophic organisation of the community it is usually impossible to interpret the observed patterns.
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