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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 127:103-112 (1995)  -  doi:10.3354/meps127103

Interrelationships in community structure between shallow-water marine meiofauna and macrofauna in relation to dredgings disposal

Somerfield PJ, Rees HL, Warwick RM

Patterns in community structure of macrofauna (Day grab samples), nematodes (Craib core samples and subsamples from Day grabs) and copepods (Craib core samples) along a transect through a dredgings disposal site in Liverpool Bay, UK, are compared, and related to a range of environmental measurements. Disposal of dredged material at the site has different effects on different components of the benthos. Nematodes are more sensitive to sediment structure and the ongoing disposal of dredgings at the site, but the method used to sample them influences the perceived pattern of impact. Subsampling from grabs is not found to be an adequate method of sampling meiofauna in studies designed to examine details of changes in community structure, although such samples may be sufficient for detecting that substantial changes have occurred. Macrofauna are more sensitive to concentrations of metals and longer term events at the site.

Meiofauna . Macrofauna . Nematodes . Community structure . Dredgings . Sampling

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