Spatial scale influences diversity patterns of free-living nematode assemblages in coral degradation zones from the Caribbean Sea
- 19 Downloads
Diversity of marine nematodes in coral degradation zones (CDZs) has been poorly studied despite of its contribution to global coral reef diversity; additionally, effects of spatial scales on nematode assemblages are also largely unknown. To fill this gap, we studied the marine nematode assemblages in CDZs from two coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea to describe the diversity, test the effects of spatial scales, and explore if there were adaptive biological trait combinations. We sampled 2 reefs (Ballenatos and Punta Francés), 6 sites, and 20 dead coral piles in a fully nested design identifying the nematodes to species level. CDZs harbored a diverse nematode assemblage of 112 species with large spatial turnover. Differences between reefs in abundance and species density were probably related to differential energy availability, with Punta Francés receiving larger input of material and energy from land. The spatial scale had a significant effect on the species richness, whereas differences in species composition were mainly driven by the scale at which ecological drivers operated (10−1 m for interstitial heterogeneity vs. 105 m for dispersal). Geographical distances in the order of 180 km likely constituted barriers to nematode dispersal and as such promoted assemblage dissimilarity. Our evidence indicated that a particular set of biological traits favored the adaptation of nematodes to CDZs, namely a distinctive combination of armed stoma, ornamented cuticle, and conical tail.
KeywordsNematodes Coral reef Species richness Species composition Biological traits Dispersal EiE hypothesis
We appreciate the comments by two anonymous referees that improved the manuscript. We thank Idea Wild fund for providing equipment used during this research.
This study was partially funded by The Ocean Foundation though the Proyecto 3 Golfos Initiative and by Dalio Family Foundation through a grant to A Apprill and A Santoro.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
Sampling and field studies
All necessary permits for sampling and observational field studies have been obtained by the authors from the competent authorities and are mentioned in the acknowledgements, if applicable.
Data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article and its supplementary information files.
- Anderson MJ, Gorley RN, Clarke KR (2008) PERMANOVA+ for PRIMER: guide to software and statistical methods. In: PRIMER-E. Plymouth, UKGoogle Scholar
- Armenteros M, Ruiz-Abierno A, Sosa Y, Pérez-García JA (2012) Habitat heterogeneity effects on macro-and meiofauna (especially nematodes) in Punta Francés coral reef (SW Cuban Archipelago). Rev Invest Mar 32:50–61Google Scholar
- Armenteros M, Saladrigas D, González-Casuso L, Estevez ED, Kowalewski M (2018) The role of habitat selection on the diversity of macrobenthic communities in three gulfs of the Cuban Archipelago. Bull Mar Sci 94:249–268Google Scholar
- Clarke KR, Gorley RN (2006) Primer v6: User Manual/Tutorial. Primer-E, Ltd, PlymouthGoogle Scholar
- Côté IM, Knowlton N (2014) Coral reef ecosystems. A decade of discoveries. In: Bertness MD, Bruno JF, Silliman BR, Stachowicz JJ (eds) Marine community ecology and conservation. Sinauer, Sunderland, pp 299–314Google Scholar
- Decraemer W, Gourbault NE, Helléouet MN (2001) Cosmopolitanism among nematodes: examples from Epsilonematidae. Vie Milieu 51:11–19Google Scholar
- Decraemer W, Coomans A, Baldwin JG (2013) Morphology of nematoda. In: Schmidt-Rhaesa A (ed) Handbook of Zoology. Gastrotricha, Cycloneuralia and Gnathifera. Volumen 2. Nematoda. De Gruyter, Göttingen, Germany, pp 1–59Google Scholar
- Gaston KJ, Spicer JI (2004) Biodiversity. An introduction (2nd ed.). Blackwell, HobokenGoogle Scholar
- Giere O (2009) Meiobenthology. The microscopic motile fauna of aquatic sediments, 2nd edn. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Gobin JF (2007) Free-living marine nematodes of hard bottom substrates in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. Bull Mar Sci 81:73–84Google Scholar
- Gotelli NJ, Colwell RK (2011) Estimating species richness. In: Magurran AE, McGill BJ (eds) Biological diversity. Frontiers in measurement and assessment. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 39–54Google Scholar
- Magurran AE (2004) Measuring biological diversity. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Moens T, Braeckman U, Derycke S, Fonseca G, Gallucci F, Gingold R, Guilini K et al. (2013) Ecology of free-living marine nematodes. In: Schmidt-Rhaesa A (ed) Handbook of Zoology. Gastrotricha, Cycloneuralia and Gnathifera. Volumen 2: Nematoda. De Gruyter, Göttingen, Germany, pp 109–152Google Scholar
- Platt HM, Warwick RM (1983) Free-living marine nematodes. Part I. British Enoplids. In: Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series), vol 28. The Linnean Society of London and The Estuarine and brackish-Water Sciences Association, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Platt HM, Warwick RM (1988) Free-Living Marine Nematodes. Part II. British Chromadorids. Vol. 38. 40 vols. In: Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series). The Linnean Society of London and The Estuarine and Brackish-water Sciences Association, LeidenGoogle Scholar
- Smythe AB (2015) Evolution of feeding structures in the marine nematode order Enoplida. Integr Comp Biol:1–13Google Scholar
- Tarjan AC (1980) An illustrate guide to the marine nematodes. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, GainesvilleGoogle Scholar
- Tchesunov A (2013) Order Desmodorida De Coninck, 1965. In: Schmidt-Rhaesa A (ed) Handbook of zoology. Gastrotricha, Cycloneuralia and Gnathifera. Volumen 2: Nematoda. De Gruyter, Göttingen, Germany, pp 399–434Google Scholar
- Thistle D, Lambshead PJD, Sherman KM (1995) Nematode tail-shape groups respond to environmental differences in the deep sea. Vie Milieu 45:107–115Google Scholar
- Vincx M (1996) Meiofauna in marine and freshwater sediments. In: Hall GS (ed) Methods for the examination of organismal diversity in soils and sediments. CAB International, Wallingford, pp 187–195Google Scholar
- Warwick RM, Platt HM, Somerfield PJ (1998) Free-living marine nematodes. Part III. Monhysterids. In: Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series), vol 53. The Linnean Society of London and The Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association, ShrewsburyGoogle Scholar
- Wieser W (1953) Die Beziehung zwischen Mundhöhlengestalt, Ernährungsweise und Vorkommen bei freilebenden marinen Nematoden. Ark f Zool 4(26):439–484Google Scholar