Temporal variation of amphipod assemblages associated with Sargassum filipendula (Phaeophyta) and its epiphytes in a subtropical shore
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The phytal assemblages change in response to variation in biological and environmental conditions. In the present study, we evaluated the temporal variation of amphipod assemblages associated with a Sargassum filipendula bed in a subtropical shore, in relation to variation of the host alga, its epiphytes and local environmental conditions. Samples of S. filipendula with associated amphipods, water temperature, water movement and suspended solids were obtained monthly from June 2000 to May 2001. We recorded 24 species of amphipods associated with S. filipendula. Species richness varied throughout the year, with maximum values in October 2000 and minimum in April 2001. Total amphipod density gradually increased during the sampling period, with the highest value in March 2001. Amphipod diversity and evenness were both positively influenced by epiphyte load and negatively by temperature, with higher values during summer months. Total density and tube-builder density were also positively influenced by temperature, whereas nestler density was influenced by epiphyte load. Individual amphipod species showed significant density fluctuations over the year. The canonical correspondence analysis performed explained 88.2% of the variation, with a strong correlation of water movement, temperature and suspended solids with the first axis, and a strong effect of epiphyte load on both the first and the second axes. The temporal structural variation of the studied algal bed strongly influenced amphipod diversity and assemblage composition, possibly through direct and indirect effects.
KeywordsSargassum bed Amphipod assemblages Epiphytes Environmental factors
We thank D. F. C. Jacobucci and A. Turra for their help in the field. This work was partially funded by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) (Process 99/11325-9) and Fundo de Apoio ao Ensino, à Pesquisa e à Extensão da Universidade Estadual de Campinas (FAEPEX-UNICAMP).
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