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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 384:175-185 (2009)  -  DOI:

Density, biomass and productivity of small mobile invertebrates in a wide range of coastal habitats

Adam Cowles1,*, Judi E. Hewitt2, Richard B. Taylor1

1Leigh Marine Laboratory, The University of Auckland, PO Box 349, Warkworth 0941, New Zealand
2National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, PO Box 11-115, Hamilton, New Zealand

ABSTRACT: Density, biomass and productivity of small (0.5 to 8.0 mm) mobile invertebrates were estimated within 34 diverse coastal habitats occurring along 80 km of coastline in temperate northeastern New Zealand. These habitats ranged from the high shore to 20 m depth and included hard, soft and macroalgal substrates. The structurally complex and food-rich coralline algal turf and sandy beach seaweed wrack were the most densely populated and productive habitats, while intertidal sands tended to be most depauperate in mobile fauna. Temporal consistency in results was demonstrated for 4 habitats sampled seasonally for 2 yr. After adjusting for habitat extents, rankings of density, biomass and productivity of fine-scale habitats amalgamated into broad-scale habitats were: subtidal rocky reef > intertidal rocky reef > subtidal soft sediments or intertidal estuary > sandy beach. Total productivity of mobile invertebrates was greater in hard- than soft-bottom habitats. Gastropods numerically dominated most hard-bottom habitats, and gammarid amphipods dominated most soft-bottom habitats. Communities of broad habitat types were reasonably discrete in multivariate space.

KEY WORDS: Secondary productivity · Beach-cast wreck · New Zealand · Rocky reef · Soft-sediment · Coralline algal turf

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Cite this article as: Cowles A, Hewitt JE, Taylor RB (2009) Density, biomass and productivity of small mobile invertebrates in a wide range of coastal habitats. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 384:175-185.

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