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Meiofauna communities, nematode diversity and C degradation rates in seagrass (Posidonia oceanica L.) and unvegetated sediments invaded by the algae Caulerpa cylindracea (Sonder)
Pusceddu, A.; Fraschetti, S.; Scopa, M.; Rizzo, L.; Danovaro, R. (2016). Meiofauna communities, nematode diversity and C degradation rates in seagrass (Posidonia oceanica L.) and unvegetated sediments invaded by the algae Caulerpa cylindracea (Sonder). Mar. Environ. Res. 119: 88-99. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.marenvres.2016.05.015
In: Marine Environmental Research. Applied Science Publishers: Barking. ISSN 0141-1136; e-ISSN 1879-0291, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Non-indigenous invasive species; Caulerpa cylindracea; Seagrass; Meiofauna; Nematodes; Marine biodiversity

Authors  Top 
  • Pusceddu, A.
  • Fraschetti, S.
  • Scopa, M.
  • Rizzo, L.
  • Danovaro, R., more

Abstract
    We investigated meiofauna and sedimentary C cycling in seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) and unvegetated sediments invaded and not invaded by the non-indigenous tropical algae Caulerpa cylindracea. In both habitats, invaded sediments were characterized by higher organic matter contents. No effect was observed for prokaryotes and C degradation rates. In seagrass sediments, C turnover in invaded beds was about half that in not invaded ones. Meiofaunal communities varied significantly among invaded and not invaded grounds only in bare sediments. In both habitats, nematode species richness and assemblage composition were not affected by the algae. The effect of C. cylindracea on the turnover and nestedness components of the Jaccard dissimilarity varied between the two habitats. We show that the presence of C. cylindracea gives rise to variable consequences on meiofauna biodiversity and C cycling in different habitats. We conclude that further studies across different habitats and ecological components are needed to ultimately understand and predict the consequences of C. cylindracea invasion in shallow Mediterranean ecosystems.

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