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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 295 - Feature article
Photos: Dr. Andrew Short (University of Sydney, Australia)

Defeo O, McLachlan A


Patterns, processes and regulatory mechanisms in sandy beach macrofauna: a multi-scale analysis


Beaches dominate the world's coasts and are focal points in tourism and coastal zone management. Omar Defeo and Anton McLachlan review and synthesize the current status of community and population ecology for sandy beach macrofauna. They focus on the key processes, operating at different spatial and temporal scales, that produce the patterns observed. The response of beach fauna to the physical environment, especially sand, swash, tide range and latitude, explains the large-scale patterns that are observed. At finer scales biological interactions become more important. The authors' synthesis will guide future work on sandy beach systems and provide a useful overview for coastal zone authorities and resource managers dealing with sandy coastal systems.


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