Biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes in a tropical bay: Cienfuegos, Caribbean SeaReport as inadecuate

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(2009)Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.85(2).p.179-189 Mark abstract Spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes were studied in CienfuegosBay, a tropical semi-enclosed basin in the Caribbean Sea. Taxonomic (to species level) and functional(biological trait) approaches were applied for describing the assemblage structure and relating it toabiotic environment based on a sampling scheme in six subtidal stations and three months. Biologicaltrait approach added relevant information to species pattern regarding relationships between diversitypatterns and the abiotic environment. The most common morphotypes were deposit feeding nematodes,with colonising abilities of 2–3 (in a scale from 1 to 5), tail conical cylindrical or filiforme and bodyslender; and their abundance were correlated with depth, organic matter and silt/clay fraction. In spite ofa high turnover of species, functional diversity of assemblages did not change notably in space and time.A result probably due to sampling of the habitat pool of species and to low heterogeneity of the studiedmuddy bottoms. Chemical pollution (organic enrichment and heavy metals) and hydrodynamic regimepossibly drove the biodiversity patterns. Spatial distribution of assemblages support the existence of twowell differentiated basins inside the bay, the northern basin more polluted than the southern one. Thelow hydrodynamic regime would determine a poor dispersion of nematodes resulting in high spatialvariance in the assemblage structure; and also the associated hypoxic conditions and pollutants insediments can explain the dominance of tolerant nematode species such as Daptonema oxycerca, Sabatieriapulchra, Terschellingia gourbaultae, and Terschellingia longicaudata. A comparison of spatial–temporal patterns of biodiversity between Cienfuegos Bay and other semi-enclosed bays in temperateregions suggests several similarities: nematode assemblages are strongly influenced by anthropogenicdisturbance, temporal trends are weak or overridden by spatial ones, and few cosmopolitan genera/species tolerant to pollution and hypoxic conditions are dominant.

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Author: Maickel Armenteros Almanza , Alexei Ruiz-Abierno, Raúl Fernández-Garcés, José Andrés Pérez-García, Lisbet Díaz-Asencio, Ma



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