, Volume 661, Issue 1, pp 211–221 | Cite as

Community structure and composition of microfaunal egg bank assemblages in riverine and floodplain sediments

  • Nathan S. P. NingEmail author
  • Daryl L. Nielsen
Primary research paper


Dormancy may be an important aspect influencing the ecology of riverine microfauna, yet fundamental knowledge concerning riverine egg bank communities is still scant compared with that for communities in floodplain habitats. We investigated the microfaunal egg bank communities in slackwater habitats of an Australian floodplain river, and compared them with the communities occurring in nearby floodplain wetlands. This was achieved by taking replicate sediment cores from paired examples of each habitat and later incubating the resting stages within these sediment cores. Results from the study indicated that the egg bank communities in each habitat differed in both composition and structure, with only 12 of the 31 taxa recorded being common to both habitat types. This suggests that in addition to supporting microfaunal persistence in the main channel, riverine egg bank communities represent an important source of microfaunal diversity together with floodplain egg bank communities in river–floodplain systems.


Diversity Dormancy Microcrustaceans Rotifers Zooplankton 



We gratefully acknowledge Dr Terry Hillman and Dr Phil Suter for their advice during the design of this study, as well as Dr Mark Fraser, Dr Susanne Watkins, Garth Watson and Sarah Ning for their constructive comments on the manuscript. This study was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship and a CSIRO top-up scholarship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Management and EcologyLa Trobe UniversityWodongaAustralia
  2. 2.The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research CentreLa Trobe UniversityWodongaAustralia
  3. 3.CSIRO Land and WaterWodongaAustralia

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