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Free Content Comparisons of the Invertebrate Faunas Colonizing Soft Sediments in Two Different Habitats

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The composition of the invertebrate faunas colonizing sandy sediments in a Zostera capricorni bed and a sandflat was compared. Plastic buckets (13-cm diameter) were used as experimental containers. Colonization was recorded after 2, 6 and 12 weeks, in sediment, and also in sediment to which seagrass detritus, artificial seagrass or both artificial seagrass and detritus had been added.

After 2 weeks, buckets with the same treatments had been colonized by similar numbers of species in both habitats. This was not expected since the fauna of the Zostera bed was more species rich than the sandflat. After 12 weeks, differences in the faunal composition of identical treatments existed between habitats. For example, samples with artificial seagrass were numerically dominated by an ascidian, Styela plicata, and an amphipod, Megamphopus sp. 1, in the sandflat but not the Zostera bed.

The numbers of species and individuals colonizing sediment with artificial seagrass were significantly higher than that without. Samples with added detritus also contained significantly more species than samples with sediment only.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1983

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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