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Spatial and temporal variability in the composition and structur of meiobenthic assemblages (especially nematodes) in tropical beaches (Guadeloupe, FWI)
Gourbault, N.; Warwick, R.M.; Helléouet, M.-N. (1998). Spatial and temporal variability in the composition and structur of meiobenthic assemblages (especially nematodes) in tropical beaches (Guadeloupe, FWI). Cah. Biol. Mar. 39(1): 29-39
In: Cahiers de Biologie Marine. Station Biologique de Roscoff: Paris. ISSN 0007-9723; e-ISSN 2262-3094, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Gourbault, N.
  • Warwick, R.M., more
  • Helléouet, M.-N.

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 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 CaCO sub(3) 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 univariate measures of species diversity. Dominance patterns varied 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 year) on the same beach.

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