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Community structure of estuarine meiobenthos
Warwick, R.M.; Gee, J.M. (1984). Community structure of estuarine meiobenthos. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 18: 97-111
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Community composition; Estuarine organisms; Meiobenthos; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Warwick, R.M., more
  • Gee, J.M.

Abstract
    Meiofaunal samples were collected from intertidal mudflats in the lower, middle and upper reaches of the Tamar estuary, south West england in April and October, 1982. Species abundance and biomass patterns of nematodes and copepods did not follow the expected trends in relation to salinity: the lowest species diversity (below neutral model predictions), the steepest ranked species abundance curves and the greatest departure from the theoretical lognormal distribution of numbers and biomass of individuals among species were found at the middle rather than the upper site. Huston's (1979) dynamic equilibrium hypothesis is invoked to explain these phenomena, but the hypothesis remains to be tested. Intense macrofaunal predation and disturbance, together with more pronounced environmental fluctuations, may eliminate competitive exclusion at the upper site resulting in a relatively high species diversity. The absence of such population reduction mechanisms at the middle site results in competitive exclusion and lowered diversity.

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