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Resource availability and meiofauna in sediment of tropical seagrass beds: Local versus global trends
De Troch, M.; Van Gansbeke, D.; Vincx, M. (2006). Resource availability and meiofauna in sediment of tropical seagrass beds: Local versus global trends. Mar. Environ. Res. 61(1): 59-73. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2005.05.003
In: Marine Environmental Research. Applied Science Publishers: Barking. ISSN 0141-1136; e-ISSN 1879-0291, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    meiofauna; tropical; seagrass; sediments; resources; biodiversity

Auteurs  Top 
  • De Troch, M.
  • Van Gansbeke, D.
  • Vincx, M.

Abstract
    Characterisation of productivity-diversity relationships forms an essential step towards a better understanding of biodiversity. In terrestrial systems this is a topical subject and most studies reported a hump-shaped relationship. For marine systems, however, the number of studies dedicated to this is low despite the high interest in this productivity-diversity relationship.
    The present study reports on meiofauna density/diversity patterns ill relation to resource availability as an indicator for the productivity of the ecosystem. Standardised meiofauna samples were collected in tropical seagrass beds from three localities (Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines) in order to contrast local patterns with a more global scale. Although these sites were physically comparable, a range of resource availabilities was found. These differences between localities were mainly due to different tidal regimes and related input of organic matter. At all sites a significant positive effect of resource increase on meiofauna densities was found. This positive effect was less clear for meiofauna diversity. Highest density and diversity levels were reported for the Kenyan site and this is probably linked to a high tidal range. Pooling all localities together resulted in a significant positive linear relationship between resource availability and meiofauna density/diversity. Caution should be taken when choosing resource indicators. Chlorophyll a concentrations, for example, resulted in a positive density-productivity relationship while organic carbon content, an indicator for more refractory material, showed a negative relationship. In all cases, no hump-shaped relationship could be found suggesting that each ecosystem and each group of organisms may show a particular productivity-diversity/density relationship.

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