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Horizontal and vertical distribution of meiofauna on sandy beaches of the North Sea (The Netherlands, Belgium, France)
Kotwicki, L.; De Troch, M.; Urban-Malinga, B.; Gheskiere, T.; Wesawski, J.M. (2005). Horizontal and vertical distribution of meiofauna on sandy beaches of the North Sea (The Netherlands, Belgium, France). Helgol. Mar. Res. 59(4): 255-264.
In: Helgoland Marine Research. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 1438-387X; e-ISSN 1438-3888, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Aquatic communities > Benthos > Meiobenthos
    Distribution > Geographical distribution > Horizontal distribution
    Distribution > Geographical distribution > Vertical distribution
    Topographic features > Landforms > Coastal landforms > Beaches
    ANE, Belgium [Marine Regions]; ANE, France [Marine Regions]; ANE, Netherlands [Marine Regions]; ANE, North Sea [Marine Regions]
Author keywords
    sandy beach; meiofauna; vertical and horizontal distribution; North Sea

Authors  Top 
  • Kotwicki, L., more
  • De Troch, M., more
  • Urban-Malinga, B.
  • Gheskiere, T., more
  • Wesawski, J.M.

    Sandy intertidal zones were analysed for the presence of meiofauna. The material was collected on six macro-tidal sandy beaches along the North Sea (The Netherlands, France, Belgium), in order to analyse the vertical and horizontal meiofaunal distribution patterns. Eleven higher meiofauna taxa (one represented by larval stage—Copepoda nauplii) were recorded. The maximum total meiofauna abundance was observed on the Dutch beach (4,295±911 ind. 10 cm-2) in the Westerschelde estuary, while the lowest values (361±128 ind. 10 cm-2) were recorded in France at the Audresselles beach. Meiofauna of the different localities consisted mainly of nematodes, harpacticoids and turbellarians. Nematodes numerically dominated all sampled stations, comprising more than 45% of the total meiofauna density. Meiofauna was mainly concentrated at the sand surface with about 70% present in the uppermost 5 cm. Meiofauna occurred across the entire intertidal zone. A clear zonation pattern in the distribution of meiofauna taxa across the beaches was observed. The present work suggests that designation of exposed sandy beaches as physically controlled (McLachlan 1988) does not explain their biological variability.

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