Advertisement

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
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Andrewartha, H.G.: Introduction to the study of animal populations, 281 pp. London: Methuen 1961Google Scholar
  2. Crisp, D.J. and R. Williams: Direct measurement of pore-size distribution on artificial and natural deposits and prediction of pore space accessible to interstitial organisms. Mar. Biol. 10, 214–226 (1971)Google Scholar
  3. Folk, R.L.: Petrology of sedimentary rocks, 170 pp. Austin, Texas: Hemphills 1968Google Scholar
  4. Gray, J.S.: The effects of pollution on sand meiofauna communities. Thalassia jugosl. 7, 79–86 (1971)Google Scholar
  5. Gray, J.S.: The fauna of the polluted river Tees estuary. (In preparation)Google Scholar
  6. — and R.M. Rieger: A quantitative study of the meiofauna of an exposed sandy beach, at Robin Hood's Bay, Yorkshire. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 51, 1–19 (1971)Google Scholar
  7. Hulings, N.C.: A comparative study of the sand beach meiofauna of Lebanon, Tunisia and Morocco. Thalassia jugosl. 7, 117–122 (1971)Google Scholar
  8. — and J.S. Gray: A manual for the study of meiofauna. Smithson. Contr. Zool. 78, 1–84 (1971)Google Scholar
  9. Jansson, B.O.: The significance of grain size and pore water content for the interstitial fauna of sandy beaches. Oikos 18, 311–322 (1967)Google Scholar
  10. McIntyre, A.D.: Ecology of marine meiobenthos. Biol. Rev. 44, 245–290 (1969)Google Scholar
  11. —: Control factors on meiofauna populations. Thalassia jugosl. 7, 209–215 (1971)Google Scholar
  12. — and D.J. Murison: The meiofauna of a flatfish nursery ground. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 53, 93–118 (1973)Google Scholar
  13. Pérès, J.M.: The Mediterranean benthos. Oceanogr. mar. Biol. A. Rev. 5, 449–533 (1967)Google Scholar
  14. Snedecor, G.W. and W.G. Cochran: Statistical methods, 593 pp. Ames: Iowa State University Press 1967Google Scholar
  15. Wieser, W.: The effect of grain size on the distribution of small invertebrates inhabiting the beaches of Puget Sound. Limnol. Oceanogr. 4, 181–194 (1959)Google Scholar
  16. Woodin, S.A.: Polychaete abundance patterns in a marine soft-sediment environment: the importance of biological interactions. Ecol. Monogr. 44, 171–187 (1974)Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations