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The role of meiofauna in the marine ecosystem: evolutionary considerations

Warwick, R.M. (2008) The role of meiofauna in the marine ecosystem: evolutionary considerations. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 96 (3). pp. 229-241.

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The meiobenthos are regarded as the first metazoans to appear on earth This paper considers some aspects of their role in the marine ecosystem over evolutionary time. It is speculatively suggested that they have had a profound influence on many structural and functional attributes of the marine ecosystem as we see it today, both in the benthic and pelagic realms. Certain features such as size spectra, the life-history characteristics of the macrobenthos, and the energetic balance between ecological compartments of the marine ecosystem are considered to result from evolution away from negative interactions with the meiobenthos.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Inc
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