|Seasonal variability of meiofauna, especially harpacticoid copepods, in Posidonia oceanica macrophytodetritus accumulations|Mascart, T.; Lepoint, G.; Deschoemaeker, S.; Binard, M.; Remy, F.; De Troch, M. (2015). Seasonal variability of meiofauna, especially harpacticoid copepods, in Posidonia oceanica macrophytodetritus accumulations. J. Sea Res. 95: 149–160. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.seares.2014.07.009
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Meiofauna; Seasonal distribution; Harpacticoida [WoRMS]; Posidonia oceanica (Linnaeus) Delile, 1813 [WoRMS]; Marine
Leaf litter accumulations; Macrophytodetritus
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The overall aim of this study was (1) to assess the diversity and density of meiofauna taxa, especially harpacticoid copepod species, present within accumulated seagrass macrophytodetritus on unvegetated sand patches and (2) to elucidate the community structure of detritus-associated harpacticoid copepods in relation to natural temporal variability of physico-chemical characteristics of accumulations. This was investigated in a Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile seagrass ecosystem in the northwest Mediterranean Sea (Bay of Calvi, Corsica, 42°35'N, 8°43'E) using a triplicate macrophytodetritus core field sampling in two contrasting sites over the four seasons of 2011. Meiofauna higher taxa consisted of 50% Copepoda, of which 87% belonged to the Harpacticoida order. Nematoda was the second most abundant taxa. The copepod community displayed a wide variety of morphologically similar and ecologically different species (i.e. mesopsammic, phytal, phytal-swimmers, planktonic and parasitic). The harpacticoid copepod community followed a strong seasonal pattern with highest abundances and species diversity in May–August, revealing a link with the leaf litter epiphyte primary production cycle. Aside from the important role in sheltering, housing and feeding potential of macrophytodetritus, a harpacticoid community BEST analysis demonstrated a positive correlation with habitat complexity and a negative correlation with water movements and P. oceanica leaf litter accumulation.