Population dynamics and secondary production of Laeonereis acuta (Treadwell, 1923) (Nereididae: Polychaeta)
Population dynamics and production of the polychaete Laeonereis acuta (Treadwell, 1923) were investigated on a tidal flat on the southeast coast of Brazil (Enseada Beach, São Sebastião, state of São Paulo) between August 1995 and March 1997. Higher densities (3.5 ind 0.01 m−2) were observed during summer months, mainly during March 1996 and February–March 1997. A sharp decrease in population density was observed in spring 1996. The population density was probably affected by high temperatures and desiccation caused by the extremely low diurnal tides which occurred during that period. Growth was analyzed using computer based methods of length-frequency data (Elefan), which estimates growth parameters of the Von Bertalanffy formula (VBGF). Two cohorts could be distinguished, one in December 1995 (with an equivalent cohort in December 1996) and another one in April 1996. The summer cohorts (December 1995 and 1996) showed higher growth rates and shorter life span than the autumn cohorts (March 1996). The life cycle of L. acuta may be strongly influenced by photoperiod, temperature regime and availability of food. The decrease in growth rate which was observed prior to the reproductive period, may be due to a higher energy allocation to gametogenesis than to somatic growth during that period. The annual production of L. acuta on this tidal flat was 3.8 g (ash free dry wt) m−2 and the production/biomass ratio was 2.0. The results of the present work were discussed in comparison with another sand flat polychaete species in the same area and other nereidid species.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-07-01
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