Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 612–619 | Cite as

Macroecological Patterns of Estuarine Nematodes



In the present study, we test whether large-scale patterns of estuarine nematodes are predicted by the “everything is everywhere” (EiE) hypothesis or by the moderate endemicity hypothesis (MEH). Specifically, we tested whether nematode genus richness and composition differ among geographical regions, latitudes, and between habitats (estuaries with and without mangroves). The meta-analysis included published data from 43 estuaries around the world. Only the most abundant genera (>1 % of relative abundance) were considered in the analysis. Each estuary was treated as an analytical unit. Results indicated that genus richness did not differ among geographical regions and between habitats, whereas latitude explained 36 % of the variability in genus richness. Genus richness assumed a bimodal pattern with higher values around the equator and in temperate regions. Canonical analysis revealed distinct nematode genus compositions in three main geographical regions and in both habitat types. These results suggest that nematodes are dispersion-limited and influenced by environmental conditions. The main conclusion is that large-scale patterns of estuarine nematodes are better predicted by the MEH, in line with studies of macroorganisms. Moreover, nematode genus turnover decreased with increasing latitude, a pattern already reported for harpacticoid copepods, land birds, vascular plants, mammals, and butterflies.


Latitudinal species richness pattern Nematoda Marine Estuarine Meta-analysis 



We thank the critical reading of Fabiane Gallucci and Jon Norenburg, as well as three anonymous reviewers. We thank Ruth Gingold ( for the critical reading and editing of the manuscript. GF is supported by FAPESP (2009/14019-0) and SN by CNPq (306740/2012-5).

Supplementary material

12237_2014_9844_MOESM1_ESM.doc (115 kb)
ESM Table 1 (DOC 115 kb)


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Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ciências do MarUniversidade Federal de São PauloSantosBrazil
  2. 2.Marine Science LaboratoryUniversity of Southern Santa CatarinaTubarãoBrazil

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