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The metazoan meiofauna in its biogeochemical environment: the case of an Antarctic coastal sediment
Vanhove, S.; Lee, H.J.; Beghyn, M.; Van Gansbeke, D.; Brockington, S.; Vincx, M. (1998). The metazoan meiofauna in its biogeochemical environment: the case of an Antarctic coastal sediment. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 78: 411-434
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Plymouth. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article

Also published as
  • Vanhove, S.; Lee, H.J.; Beghyn, M.; Van Gansbeke, D.; Brockington, S.; Vincx, M. (1998). The metazoan meiofauna in its biogeochemical environment: the case of an Antarctic coastal sediment, in: (1998). IZWO Coll. Rep. 28(1998). IZWO Collected Reprints, 28: pp. chapter 26, more

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Vanhove, S., more
  • Lee, H.J.
  • Beghyn, M.
  • Van Gansbeke, D., more
  • Brockington, S.
  • Vincx, M., more

Abstract
    The metazoan meiobenthos was investigated in an Antarctic coastal sediment (Factory Cove, Signy Island, Antarctica). The fine sands contained much higher abundances compared to major sublittoral sediments worldwide. Classified second after Narragansett Bay (North Atlantic) they reached numbers of 13x106 ind m-2. The meiofauna was highly abundant in the surface layers, but densities decreased sharply below 2cm. Vertical profiles mirrored steep gradients of microbiota, chloropigments and organic matter and were coincident with chemical stratification. Spatial patchiness manifested especially in the surface layer. Nematodes dominated (up to 90%), and Aponema, Chromadorita, Diplolaimella, Daptonema, Microlaimus and Neochromadora constituted almost the entire community. Overall, the nematode fauna showed a strong similarity with fine sand communities elsewhere. The dominant trophic strategies were epistratum and non-selective deposit feeding, but the applied classification for feeding guild structure of the nematodes of Factory Cove is discussed. High standing stock, low diversity and shallow depth distribution may have occurred because of the high nutritive (chlorophyll exceeded 1000 mg m-2 and constituted almost 50% of the organic pool) and reductive character of the benthic environment. These observations must have originated from the substantial input of fresh organic matter from phytoplankton and microphytobenthic production, typical for an Antarctic coastal ecosystem during the austral summer.

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