Advertisement

Hydrobiologia

, Volume 311, Issue 1–3, pp 185–206 | Cite as

Meiobenthic distribution and nematode community structure in five European estuaries

  • Karline Soetaert
  • Magda Vincx
  • Jan Wittoeck
  • Maio Tulkens
Meiobenthos

Abstract

Meiofauna from the intertidal zone of five European estuaries (Ems, Westerschelde, Somme, Gironde, Tagus) was investigated. Samples represented a cross section of various benthic habitats from near-freshwater to marine, from pure silts to fine-sandy bottoms. The meiobenthic community comprised everywhere a fauna strongly dominated by nematodes, with meiobenthic density increasing with increasing salinity. The Ems differed from the other estuaries due to the presence of a well developed community of Copepods, Gastrotrichs, large Ciliates and/or soft-shelled Foraminiferans in some sites. The Westerschelde stood out due to the near-absence of harpacticoid copepods and, as in the Tagus, the lower meiobenthic densities in the marine part of the estuary. For nematode community analysis, we also included data from the Tamar which were obtained from the literature (Warwick & Gee, 1984). This resulted in the enumeration of 220 species, belonging to 102 genera, each with a characteristic distribution along the salinity, sedimentary and latitudinal gradients. Using the multivariate technique CANOCO, a zonation along these different physicochemical determinants was observed as well although salinity and sediment characteristic (scale of hundreds of meters to kilometers) proved to be more important in explaining community structure than latitudinal differences (scale of hundreds of kilometers). Nematode diversity was nearly entirely determined on the genus level and was positively related to salinity. Deviations from this general trend in the Gironde and the Tamar were attributed to sedimentary characteristics or to low macrobenthic predation. The presence of a typical opportunistic colonizing nematode species Pareurodiplogaster pararmatus in the low-salinity region of the Gironde could indicate (organic?) pollution or disturbance of the intertidal mud-flats.

Key words

Meiobenthos nematoda estuary 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Austen, M. C. & R. M. Warwick, 1989. Comparison of univariate and multivariate aspects of estuarine meiobenthic community structure. Estuar. coast. Shelf Sci. 29: 23–42.Google Scholar
  2. Bale, A. J., A. W. Morris & R. J. M. Howland, 1985. Seasonal sediment movement in the Tamar estuary. Oceanol. Acta 8: l16.Google Scholar
  3. Bongers, T., 1988. De Nematoden van Nederland. Natuurhistorische bibliotheek KNNV nr 46. Pirola, Schoorl.Google Scholar
  4. Bongers, T., 1990. The maturity index: an ecological measure of environmental disturbance based on nematode species composition. Oecologia 83: 14–19.Google Scholar
  5. Bongers, T., R. Alkemade & G. W. Yeates, 1991. Interpretation of disturbance-induced maturity decrease in marine nematode assemblages by means of the Maturity Index. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 76: 135–142.Google Scholar
  6. Bouwman, L. A., 1981. A survey of nematodes from the Ems estuary. Part I. Systematics. Zool Jahrbuche (Systematik, Okologie, Geographie) 108: 335–385.Google Scholar
  7. Bouwman, L. A., 1983. A survey of nematodes from the Ems estuary: species assemblages and associations. Zool. Jahrbuche (Systematik, Okologie, Geographie) 110: 345–376.Google Scholar
  8. Bouwman, L. A., K. Romeyn, D. R. Kremer & F B. van Es, 1983. Occurrence and feeding biology of some nematode species in Aufwuchscommunities. In Systematics, ecology and feeding biology of estuarine nematodes. BOEDE publicaties en verslagen nr 3: 107–127.Google Scholar
  9. Capstick, C. K., 1959. The distribution of free-living nematodes in relation to salinity in the middle and upper reaches of the river Blyth estuary. J. anim Ecol. 28: 189–210.Google Scholar
  10. Castel, J. & A. Feurtet, 1989. Dynamics of the copepod Eurytemora affinis hirundoides in the Gironde estuary: origin and fate of its production. In Ros, J. D. (ed.), Topics in marine biology. Scient. Mar. 53: 577–584.Google Scholar
  11. Castel, J., 1992. Comparative field study of the ecological structure of major european tidal estuaries: the Gironde estuary. In P. Herman (ed.). JEEP 92: Major biological processes in European tidal estuaries — report of the workshop held in Plymouth: 55–64.Google Scholar
  12. Coull, B. C., 1988. Ecology of the marine meiofauna. In Higgins, R. P. & H. Thiel (eds). Introduction to the study of the meiofauna. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. London: 18–38.Google Scholar
  13. Ducrotoy, J. P. & B. Sylvand, 1989. Baie des Veys and baie de Somme (English Channel): comparison of two macrotidal ecosystems. In M. Elliot & J. P. Ducrotoy (eds), Estuaries and coasts: spatial and temporal intercomparisons. ECSA 19 Symposium: 207–210.Google Scholar
  14. Eskin, R. A. & B. C. Coull, 1984. A priori determination of valid control sites: an example using marine meiobenthic nematodes. Mar. envir. Res. 12: 161–172.Google Scholar
  15. Esselink, P., J. van Belkum & K. Essink, 1989. The effect of organic pollution on local distribution of Nereis diversicolor and Corophium volutator. Neth. J. Sea Res. 23: 323–332.Google Scholar
  16. Gaudencio, M. J., M. T. Guerra & M. Glemarec, 1991. Recherches biosedimentaires sur la zone maritime de l'estuaire du Tage, Portugal: donnees sedimentaires preliminaires. In M. Elliot & J. P. Ducrotoy (eds), Estuaries and coasts: spatial and temporal intercomparisons. ECSA 19 Symposium: 11–16.Google Scholar
  17. Gerlach, S. A., 1953. Die Biozonotische gliederung der Nematodenfauna an den Deutschen Kusten. Zeitschrift für Morfologie and Okologie der Tiere 41: 411–512.Google Scholar
  18. Gerlach, S. A., 1980. Development of marine nematode taxonomy up to 1979. Veroff. Inst. Meeresforsch. Bremerh. 18: 249–255.Google Scholar
  19. Gourbault, N., 1981. Les peuplements de nematodes du chenal de la baie de Morlaix (premieres donnees). Cah. Biol. Mar. 22: 65–82.Google Scholar
  20. Heip, C., M. Vincx & G. Vranken, 1985. The ecology of marine nematodes. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 23: 399–489.Google Scholar
  21. Heip, C., P. Herman & K. Soetaert, 1988. Data processing, evaluation and analysis. In Higgins, R. P. & H. Thiel (eds), Introduction to the study of the meiofauna. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. London: 197–231.Google Scholar
  22. Heip, C., 1989. The ecology of the estuaries of Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt in the Netherlands. In Ros, J. D. (ed.), Topics in marine biology. Scient. Mar. 53: 457–1463.Google Scholar
  23. Hodda, M. & W. L. Nicholas, 1986. Temporal changes in littoral meiofauna from the Hunter River estuary. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 37: 729–741.Google Scholar
  24. Jonge, V. N. de, 1992. Tidal flow and residual flow in the Ems Estuary. Estuar. coast. Shelf Sci. 34: 1–22.Google Scholar
  25. Jonge, V. N. de & K. Essink, 1992. The Ems estuary: water circulation, sediment dynamics and nutrient enrichment. In P Herman (ed.). JEEP 92: Major biological processes in European tidal estuaries — report of the workshop held in Plymouth: 23–38.Google Scholar
  26. Jongman, Q., C. Ter Braak & O. Van Tongeren, 1987. Data analysis in community and landscape ecology. PUDOC Wageningen, 299 pp.Google Scholar
  27. Kramer, K. J. M., R. M. Warwick & U. H. Brockmann, 1992. Manual of sampling and analytical procedures for tidal estuaries. JEEP 92.Google Scholar
  28. Lambshead, P. J. D., H. M. Platt & K. M. Shaw, 1983. The detection of differences among assemblages of marine benthic species based on an assessment of dominance and diversity. J. nat. Hist. 17: 859–874.Google Scholar
  29. Meire, P. M., J. J. Seys, T. J. Ysebaert & J. Coosen, 1991. A comparison of the macrobenthic distribution and community structure between two estuaries in SW Netherlands. In M. Elliot & J. P. Ducrotoy (eds), Estuaries and coasts: spatial and temporal intercomparisons. ECSA 19 Symposium: 221–230.Google Scholar
  30. Montagna, P. A. & R. D. Kalke, 1992. The effect of freshwater inflow on meiofaunal and macrofaunal populations in the Guadalupe and Nueces Estuaries, Texas. Estuaries 15: 307–326.Google Scholar
  31. Moore, C. G., 1987. Meiofauna of an industrialized estuary and Firth of Forth, Scotland. Proc. r. Soc. Edinb. 93B: 415–430.Google Scholar
  32. Moreira, F., C. A. Assis, P. R. Almeida, J. L. Costa & M. J. Costa, 1992. Trophic relationships in the community of the Upper Tagus Estuary (Portugal): a preliminary Approach. Estuar. coast. Shelf Sci. 34: 617–623.Google Scholar
  33. Morris, A. W., R. J. M. Howland, E. M. S. Woodward, A. J. Bale & R. F. C. Mantoura, 1985. Nitrite and Ammonia in the Tamar estuary. Neth. J. Sea Res. 19: 217–222.Google Scholar
  34. Phillips, F. E. & J. W. Fleeger, 1985. Meiofauna meso-scale variability in two estuarine habitats. Estuar. coast. Shelf Sci. 21: 745–756.Google Scholar
  35. Platt, H. M. & R. M. Warwick, 1983. Freeliving marine nematodes. Part I: British Enoplids. Synopses of the British Fauna (New series) no 28, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Platt, H. M. & R. M. Warwick, 1988. Freeliving marine nematodes. Part II: British Chromadorids. Synopses of the British Fauna (New series) no 38, E. J. Brill, Leiden.Google Scholar
  37. Platt, H. M., K. M. Shaw & P. J. D. Lambshead, 1984. Nematode species abundance patterns and their use in the detection of environmental perturbation. Hydrobiologia 118: 59–66.Google Scholar
  38. Riemann, F., 1966. Die interstitielle Fauna im Elbe Estuar. Verbreitung and Systematik. Arch. Hydrobiol. Suppl. 31: 1–279.Google Scholar
  39. Romeyn, K., L. A. Bouwman & W. Admiraal, 1983. Ecology and cultivation of the herbivorous brackish-water nematode Eudiplogaster pararmatus. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 12: 145–153.Google Scholar
  40. Rybarczyk, H., F. Jamet & M. Desprez, 1992. Baie de Somme: Bilan 1991. In P. Herman (ed.), JEEP 92: Major biological processes in European tidal estuaries — report of the workshop held in Plymouth: 49–53.Google Scholar
  41. Skoolmun, P. & S. A. Gerlach, 1971. Jahreszeitliche fluktuationen der Nematodenfauna im Gezeitenbereich des Weseraestuar. Veroff. Inst. Meeresforsch. Bremerh. 13: 119–138.Google Scholar
  42. Smol, N., K. A. Willems, J. C. R. Govaere & A. J. J. Sandee, 1994. Composition, distribution and biomass of the meiobenthos in the Oosterschelde estuary (SW Netherlands). Hydrobiologia 282/283 (Dev. Hydrobiol. 97): 197–217.Google Scholar
  43. Soetaert, K. & C. Heip, 1990. Sample-size dependence of diversity indices and the determination of sufficient sample size in a high-diversity deep-sea environment. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 59: 305–307.Google Scholar
  44. Soetaert, K., C. Heip & M. Vincx, 1991. Diversity of nematode assemblages along a mediterranean deep-sea transect. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 75: 275–282.Google Scholar
  45. Soetaert, K., M. Vincx, J. Wittoeck, M. Tulkens & D. Vangansbeke, 1994. Spatial pattern of Westerschelde meiobenthos. Estuar. coast. Shelf Sci. 39: 367–388.Google Scholar
  46. Soetaert, K. & P. M. J. Herman, 1995. Carbon flows in the Westerschelde estuary (The Netherlands) evaluated by means of an ecosystem model (MOSES). Hydrobiologia 311 (Dev. Hydrobiol. 110): 247–266.Google Scholar
  47. Soetaert, K., P. M. J. Herman & J. Kromkamp, 1994. Living in the twilight: estimating net phytoplankton growth in the Westerschelde estuary (The Netherlands) by means of an ecosystem model (MOSES). J. Plankt. Res. 16: 1277–1301.Google Scholar
  48. Ter Braak, C. J. F., 1989. CANOCO — an extension of DECORANA to analyze species-environment relationships. Hydrobiologia 184: 169–170.Google Scholar
  49. Van Damme, D., C. Heip & K. A. Willems, 1984. Influence of pollution on the harpacticoid copepods of two North Sea estuaries. Hydrobiologia 112: 143–160.Google Scholar
  50. Van Damme, D., R. Herman, Y. Sharma, M. Holvoet & P. Martens, 1980. Fluctuations of the meiobenthos communities in the Westerschelde estuary. Ices-report CM/L 23: 131–170.Google Scholar
  51. Vanreusel, A., 1990. Ecology of free-living marine nematodes from the Voordelta (Southern Bight of the North Sea). I. Species composition and structure of the nematode communities. Cah. Biol. mar. 31: 439–462.Google Scholar
  52. Vincx, M., P. Meire & C. Heip, 1990. The distribution of nematodes communities in the Southern Bight of the North Sea. Cah. Biol. mar. 31: 107–129.Google Scholar
  53. Vincx, M., 1990. Diversity of the nematode communities in the southern bight of the north sea. Neth. J. Sea Res. 25: 181–188.Google Scholar
  54. Ward, A. R., 1975. Studies on the sublittoral free-living nematodes of the Liverpool Bay. II. Influence of sediment composition on the distribution of marine nematodes. Mar. Biol. 30: 217–225.Google Scholar
  55. Warwick, R. M., 1971. Nematode associations in the Exe estuary. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 51: 439–454.Google Scholar
  56. Warwick, R. M. & R. Price, 1979. Ecological and metabolic studies on free-living nematodes from an estuarine mud flat. Estuar. coast. mar. Sci. 9: 257–271.Google Scholar
  57. Warwick, R. M. & J. M. Gee, 1984. Community structure of estuarine meiobenthos. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 18: 97–111.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karline Soetaert
    • 1
  • Magda Vincx
    • 1
  • Jan Wittoeck
    • 1
  • Maio Tulkens
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Biology SectionUniversity of GhentGentBelgium

Personalised recommendations