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Meiobenthic and macrobenthic community structure along a putative pollution gradient in southern Portugal

Austen, M.C., Warwick, R.M. and Carmen Rosado, M. (1989) Meiobenthic and macrobenthic community structure along a putative pollution gradient in southern Portugal. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 20 (8). pp. 398-405.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0025-326X(89)90318-4
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Abstract

Macro- and meiobenthos were sampled from Ria Formosa, Portugal along putative sewage pollution gradients in summer 1987 and winter 1988. The status of the benthos was assessed using multidimensional scaling ordination, ABC plots, and a variety of univariate indices of community structure. Meiobenthos in both seasons and macrobenthos in winter appeared to respond to sewage enrichment only in the immediate vicinity of the sewage outfalls and channels but ABC plots indicated that macrobenthic communities were moderately stressed throughout the area in summer. In the summer, human digging for shellfish results in considerable sediment turnover. Since meiofauna may be less affected by physical sediment disturbance than macrofauna this may explain why the macrofauna communities were apparently disturbed relative to the meiofauna even beyond the influence of the sewage. Sampling meiofauna with the macrofauna significantly increased our understanding of mans impact in this area. There was little correlation between macro- and meiobenthos in diversity, abundances, number of taxa and biomass and these indices gave no indication of an organic enrichment gradient.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 1989 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/23180
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