Macrobenthic Associations of the Lower and Upper Marshes of a Tidal Flat Colonized by Spartina alterniflora in Cananeia Lagoon Estuarine Region (Southeastern Brazil)
Abstract:The structure and temporal variation of marine macrobenthic associations of lower and upper marshes were compared in a tidal flat colonized by Spartina alterniflora in Cananeia, southeastern Brazil. Species composition, abundance and seasonal pattern were analysed in relation to tide level, plant biomass and substrate. Two intertidal areas located on the S. alterniflora belt, one near mean high water of neap tides and the other near mean high water of spring tides, were sampled monthly from August 1988 to January 1989. A total of 60 macrofaunal species was collected of which the top 25 were analyzed. The lower marsh macrofauna association was dominated by the epifaunal crustaceans Shaeromopsis mourei and Parhyale hawaensis while the upper marsh association was dominated by the infaunal polychaetes Isolda pulchella and Nereis oligohalina. This pattern could be explained by the combined effects of organism resistance to emersion and physical dependence on the plant as habitat. The abundance of both associations showed a well documented seasonal pattern with higher values in the colder months.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1998-09-01
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