Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 89–98 | Cite as

Is maturity index an efficient tool to assess the effects of the physical disturbance on the marine nematode assemblages?—A critical interpretation of disturbance-induced maturity successions in some study cases in Maldives

  • F. SemprucciEmail author
  • P. Colantoni
  • M. Balsamo


Maturity index (MI), based on nematode life strategies, has been proposed in 1990 to assess the possible variations of the terrestrial and freshwater nematode assemblages induced by anthropogenic activities. It was subsequently applied also to marine ecosystems and, even if comparatively not yet very popular, it offers a good method to assess the ecological quality in relation to a wide range of anthropogenic drivers. However, few data are available on its response to physical stress, a key factor especially in the coastal areas. In this study, marine nematode genera from two study cases carried out in Maldives are used to test both MI and life strategy traits (i.e., c-p classes) for detecting the effects of physical disturbance. The results confirm that nematodes are well adapted to physical stress showing a general high rate of recovery. C-p scaling and MI did not seem to be appropriate for revealing this disturbance type probably because there are no empirical evidences on the life strategy of several genera, and a possible differential response to various disturbance types may be hypothesized.


marine nematodes bioindicators maturity index hydrodynamism tsunami Maldives 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari (DiSB)Università di UrbinoUrbinoItaly

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