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Biodiversity response to experimental induced hypoxic-anoxic conditions in seagrass sediments
Gambi, C.; Bianchelli, S.; Pérez, M.; Invers, O.; Ruiz, J.M.; Danovaro, R. (2009). Biodiversity response to experimental induced hypoxic-anoxic conditions in seagrass sediments. Biodivers. Conserv. 18(1): 33-54. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10531-008-9433-1
In: Biodiversity and Conservation. Kluwer Academic Publishers/Springer: London. ISSN 0960-3115; e-ISSN 1572-9710, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Biodiversity; Hypoxic-anoxic conditions; Metazoan meiofauna; Nematodes; Posidonia oceanica

Authors  Top 
  • Gambi, C., more
  • Bianchelli, S.
  • Pérez, M.
  • Invers, O.
  • Ruiz, J.M.
  • Danovaro, R., more

Abstract
    The effects of induced hypoxic-anoxic conditions on the metazoan meiofaunal assemblages and nematode diversity were investigated with an in situ experiment in a Posidonia oceanica meadow. The experiment, of the duration of five months, was performed in three experimental sets of plots. Two of them were enriched with organic matter to induce anoxic conditions (1 set with sucrose and 1 set with sugar plus nutrients, i.e. nitrogen and phosphorus) whereas the last set of plots was kept undisturbed and used as Control. Metazoan meiofauna displayed a fast response to the induced anoxic conditions with an immediate reduction of the richness of taxa (only nematodes and copepods tolerated the hypoxic-anoxic conditions). Nematodes were the most tolerant organisms as their species richness did not change in hypoxic-anoxic conditions, but their species composition and trophic structure displayed significant changes. Some genera (Desmoscolex and Bolbolaimus) were replaced by other (Chromadorella, Sabatiera and Polysigma) more tolerant to the extreme conditions. No significant differences were observed in the Control plots, whereas in treated plots, selective deposit feeders and predators decreased significantly, being replaced by non-selective deposit feeders and epistrate feeders. These results indicate that, events causing a reduction in oxygen availability, can have an impact on the nematode beta-diversity and functional diversity with potential important implications on the benthic food web and functioning of the seagrass systems.

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