Distributional Patterns of Polychaeta in the Alfaques Inlet (Ebro River Delta; Western Mediterranean): Faunistic and Coenotic Analysis of an Estuarine System
Abstract:Polychaetous annelids associated with soft bottoms in the Alfaques inlet (Ebro river Delta, western Mediterranean) were studied to evaluate species composition and spatial distribution by cluster classification and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Spatial distribution by PCA explains more than 63% of the variance through seven axes. Cluster classification using physicochemical parameters distinguished two main assemblages, one extending through central inlet's corridor, deeper than 2 m with less than 60% sand, and a second shallower with sand content greater than 60%. Cluster classification identified four distinct groups. The first group comprised sampling stations in the outer sector with only infaunal species ubiquitous in soft bottoms. The second group can be considered as a subgroup of the previous assemblage with infaunal species typical of polluted sediments. A third set presented a diverse fauna and with could not be characterized from the coenotic standpoint. The fourth group possessed more than 20 species, none of which was found in stations belonging to the former groups.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1991-03-01
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