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Quantitative investigations of sand-bottom macrofauna along the Mediterranean north-west coast

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Abstract

Consideration of the range of quantitative data collected in a 4 year survey of macrobenthic fauna in sublittoral fine-sand on the north-west Mediterranean coast allows some farreaching comments. As a diver-operated suction sampler was employed, density and biomass values obtained must be considered as the most accurate ones for such hard ground. The wide range of values observed from bay to bay and from year to year suggests different controlling factors. Among environmental factors, influence of exposure is clearly shown, and trophic conditions offered to filter and suspension feeders by the water column in controlling high biomass values is emphasized. Among biological factors, high growth and generation replacement rates for main species together with a high predation-rate explain changes and instability in fauna-assemblage structures of Mediterranean fine-sand macrofauna. Comparison of these biological data with those from northwest European shallow-sand associations reveals some important differences which suggest some restrictions to the parallel level-bottom community concept.

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Communicated by J. M. Peres, Marseille

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Massé, H. Quantitative investigations of sand-bottom macrofauna along the Mediterranean north-west coast. Marine Biology 15, 209–220 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00383551

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Keywords

  • Biomass
  • Water Column
  • High Biomass
  • Biological Factor
  • Generation Replacement