Marine Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 77–83 | Cite as

Physical factors controlling abundance of meiofauna on tidal and atidal beaches

  • N. C. Hulings
  • J. S. Gray


Quantitative samples of interstitial sand beach meiofauna were collected from Morocco along the North African coast (Algeria and Tunisia) and northwards to Lebanon, Turkey and Cyprus. Data on the sediment median diameter, sorting coefficient and beach temperature were used to construct multiple-regression equations relating these factors to the total meiofaunal numbers. Curvilinear regression was found to give a significantly better fit than linear regression in all cases but one. Treating the whole Mediterranean data, the equation explained 9.3% of the variance in meiofaunal abundance. Within narrower geographical areas, however, the equations explained significantly more of the variance: 56.70% of Moroccan tidal beach data, 75.60% of South Tunisian tidal beach data, and 62.3% of South Tunisian atidal beach data. For the tidal beach equations sorting was the most important factor, followed by temperature and median diameter. It is suggested that the factors controlling meiofaunal abundance on these beaches are likely to be wave, tide and current action which also control sorting. The lack of fit of most atidal beach data suggests that here biological interactions such as competition and predation may control meiofaunal abundance. The detection of beaches affected by pollutants may also be possible using regression techniques. Beaches having a significantly enriched population (sewage-induced) or depleted population (pollutant-induced) can be readily detected.


Beach Sorting Meiofauna Median Diameter Sand Beach 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. C. Hulings
    • 1
  • J. S. Gray
    • 2
  1. 1.Marine Science Programme, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of JordanAmmanJordan
  2. 2.Wellcome Marine LaboratoryUniversity of LeedsRobin Hood's BayEngland

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