, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 1–19

Field experimentation in meiofaunal ecology

  • Bruce C. Coull
  • Margaret A. Palmer

DOI: 10.1007/BF00031783

Cite this article as:
Coull, B.C. & Palmer, M.A. Hydrobiologia (1984) 118: 1. doi:10.1007/BF00031783


Field manipulations with meiofauna have become popular research tools recently. Over 40 experiments manipulating meiofauna have been conducted including natural experiments. Investigator induced experiments include pollution experiments, colonization (non-pollution) experiments, trophic-interaction experiments, organism-substrate experiments and others. We review the contributions of these investigations.

To adequately interpret manipulative experiments we provide a protocol and procedures section which emphasizes what is necessary for experimentation with meiofauna. These include: establishing an hypothesis, experimental design, controls, time scale of the experiment, taxon in question, replicating and coupling laboratory and field experiments.

We suggest several areas where we feel meiofauna manipulations will provide fruitful research answers in the future and urge meiofauna experimentation in the following areas: food for higher trophic levels; habitat complexity: prey refuges; pollution ecology; competition; suspension: drift of meiofaunal taxa and nutrient remineralization. None of these research areas are easy, but with ingenuity should provide exciting and provocative areas for research.


meiofauna field experiments review protocol future directions 

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce C. Coull
    • 1
  • Margaret A. Palmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research, and Department of BiologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of BiologyWabash CollegeCrawfordsvilleU.S.A.

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