|The marine invertebrate fauna of a British coastal salt marsh|In: Holarctic Ecology. Munksgaard: Copenhagen. ISSN 0105-9327, more
Fauna; Marine invertebrates; Salt marshes; ANE, British Isles, England [Marine Regions]; Marine
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There are few accounts in the literature of the marine fauna of European salt marshes. The marine invertebrate populations of a coastal salt marsh in eastern England were studied for two years. A total of 32 marine species were recorded. The community was composed of a subset of species from adjacent intertidal sand and mud flats, along with a brackish water component. This gave the marsh a characteristic fauna, which was dominated by infaunal and surface-living deposit feeders. The community showed a seasonal minimum in winter, and the infauna showed an additional summer decrease. This is attributed to increased interstitial salinities. Principal component analysis revealed the importance of the tidal gradient and the structure of the habitat in determining the community. The abundance of both epibenthic and infaunal predators were negatively correlated with the abundance of some prey. Also a small number of other pairwise negative interactions were revealed, but overall there was no strong evidence of interspecific competition exerting much influence on the community. The role of habitat heterogeneity and variation in the lateral movement of adult benthos and larval recruitment as promoters of diversity are discussed.