Marine Biology

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 48-57

Benthic polychaete assemblages and their relationship to the sediment in Port Madison, Washington

  • F. H. NicholsAffiliated withDepartment of Oceanography, University of Washington

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Two indices of community association and a 3 dimensional ordination of stations were used to elucidate the relationship between small-scale changes in species, composition of polychaete assemblages and changes in the physical character of the sediment, at 9 stations along a 1.5 km subtidal transect. There were no faunal or physical discontinuities that might have been used to delineate boundaries of polychaete communities, except at a very shallow station where the effects of extreme fluctuations of temperature and salinity were evident. The degree of similarity between assemblages was related to the similarity of the sediments at the different stations. In particular, the changes in species composition appeared to correspond most clearly to differences in the clay content of the sediment.