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Free Content Spatial and Temporal Distributions of Spionid Polychaetes at Phuket Island, the Andaman Sea

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The distribution of Paraprionospio inaequibranchia and 23 species of Prionospio s.l. was studied on the west coast of Thailand during a 3-year survey of benthic macrofauna at 10–30 m depth. In the monsoonal year 1981–1982 most silt-clay was removed from the upper sediment layer. Co-occurring with this event, 15 of the Prionospio spp. increased in abundance. The spionids were segregated by depth with 12 species peaking at 10 m depth, 6 species at 20 m, and 6 species at 30 m. Within the study area, we found four and nine species most abundant in each of the northern and southern parts, five species displayed an ubiquitous distribution, and six species were encountered at one station only. The density of individuals (4 species abundant, 8 species common, and 12 species rare), and differences in size of the worms, were also noted. Against this background we suggest a limited overlap in ecological dimensions of the species. We hypothesize that the variable characteristics of the shifting monsoons are a prerequisite for the high species abundance observed on the shelf of the Andaman Sea.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1991

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