|Cryptozoic copepods from Belgium: diversity and biogeographic implications|
Fiers, F.; Ghenne, V. (2000). Cryptozoic copepods from Belgium: diversity and biogeographic implications. Belg. J. Zool. 130(1): 11-19
In: Belgian Journal of Zoology. Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Dierkunde = Société royale zoologique de Belgique: Gent. ISSN 0777-6276, more
During an intensive survey of the presence and distribution of soil nematodes in Belgium, several samples were found to contain harpacticoid and cyclopoid copepods. Population characteristics could not be studied because the sampling methods were inadequate for the collection of copepods. We report here on the diversity, and discuss the habitat preferences, of those cryptozoic copepods. Four cyclopoid and 13 harpacticoid species were identified. One cyclopoid and eight harpacticoids have not been previously reported from Belgium. Species of Morariinae and Canthocamptinae were encountered in nearly every type of habitat. The presence of the hypogean cyclopoid Graeteriella unisetigera in leaf litter was unexpected and we discuss its distribution in Europe. Based on those observations, the concept of the importance of leaf litter in the dispersion of stygofauna and its population maintenance is advanced.