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The distribution and ecology of psammollittoral meiofauna around the Isle of Man
Moore, C.G. (1979). The distribution and ecology of psammollittoral meiofauna around the Isle of Man. Cah. Biol. Mar. 20(4): 383-415
In: Cahiers de Biologie Marine. Station Biologique de Roscoff: Paris. ISSN 0007-9723, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

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  • Moore, C.G.

Abstract
    The distribution and density of the meiofauna was studied on six sandy beaches around the Isle of Man in association with several environmental factors. The beaches ranged from moderately exposed to sheltered and from medium to fine sand. Meiofaunal densities ranged from 7655/10 cm-2 to 149/10 cm-2. Nematodes were generally the dominant taxon, although at the most exposed beach harpacticoid copepods predominated. Gastrotrichs and oligochaetes attained the dominance locally. Densities were generally higher over the lower shore and in the more sheltered areas, where the bulk of the fauna was contained within the surface 5 cm of sand. Submergence occurred on the upper shore. Gastrotrichs were generally found to have their centre of distribution a little deeper in the sand than the other groups. Where possible the influence of the environmental factors on faunal distribution was examined. Wide temperature and salinity fluctuations, together with a low pore water content were deemed likely to provide a powerful faunal barrier at the top of the shore, which was nevertheless overcome by some oligochaete and nematode species. Harpacticoid copepods were found to be particularly susceptible to a low pore water content (below 50%). A minimum critical grain size of 2.5-2.6 is postulated for the existence of interstitial harpacticoids in well-sorted sand. The virtual absence of interstitial harpacticoids and certain other groups on the finer Manx beaches was presumed to be a consequence of the low grain size. The distribution of nematodes was mirrored by the distribution of visible detritus.

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