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Free Content Temporal Variability, Diversity and Guild Structure of a Benthic Community in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico

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Abstract:

Offshore areas of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico represent a little studied region for benthic infaunal communities. In a 3 yr, large-scale study of benthic communities off the coast of Cedar Key, Florida, we found a speciose assemblage represented by over 472 taxa. This community exhibited both high species diversity and relative constancy of overall infaunal abundances. Analysis of relative abundance patterns among individual taxa indicated similar rank abundances of many dominant fauna over the 3 yrs of sampling, though significant seasonality was detected for one taxa and there was variability in absolute numbers between sampling periods. Analysis of patterns at the guild level indicated differences in relative abundances of deposit feeding and suspension feeding guilds between seasons, but consistent relative abundances within a season among years. Detection of seasonal variations at the guild level but not the species level reflects variability in responses at the species level and emphasizes the potential usefulness of guild approaches for examining temporal patterns in benthic communities.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1998

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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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