Community Structure of Intertidal Macrofauna on Two Surf-Exposed Texas Sandy Beaches
Abstract:The intertidal macrofauna of two surf-exposed Texas sandy beaches (a mainland beach and a barrier island beach) was studied from July 1976 to June 1977 to determine species composition, abundance, biomass, diversity, zonation and seasonal changes. The numerically dominant species (both beaches combined) were the haustoriid amphipods Haustorius n. sp. and Lepidactylus n. spp., the polychaetes Scolelepis squamata and Lumbrineris impatiens, and the bivalves Donax texasiana, D. roemeri and D. dorotheae, Donax texasiana comprised the greatest biomass at both beaches. Mean density of individuals was about three times and biomass density more than five times greater at the barrier island beach, characterized by greater wave energy and more uniformly well-sorted sand. Species diversity and richness (lack of high dominance) were higher at the mainland beach, and were lower and more variable, with higher dominance, at the barrier island beach. Species composition of intertidal macrofauna inhabiting warm temperate western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico beaches is compared with that of tropical southwestern Gulf beaches. The major latitudinal difference is the replacement of haustoriid amphipods, which dominate upper and mid tide levels of temperate beaches, by cirolanid isopods on tropical beaches of the southwestern Gulf.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 1981
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