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Macrobenthic Crustacean Characterization of an Estuarine Area

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Crustacean species from 48 stations sampled in the soft-bottoms of Ría de Ares-Betanzos (N. W. Spain) have been analysed from the point of view of their composition, distribution, feeding types and their correlations with the environmental factors. Fifty nine species have been identified belonging to the following orders: Amphipods 53%, Decapods 37%, Cumaceans 5%, Isopods 3%, Nebaliids, Mysids and Tanaids (these three included in the group "Others") 2%. The trophic groups considered consist of surface deposit-feeders 27%, carnivores 37%, suspension feeders / surface deposit feeders 22.5%, omnivores 6.8% and subsurface deposit-feeders 6%. Highest numbers, diversity and species richness have been found at the outer zone where bottoms were composed of coarse, not sorted sediments in contrast to the minimal values accounted for the muddy bottoms of the inner zones. Ordination and classification analysis show a spatial distribution model principally determined by the sediment types. Other environmental factors as organic carbon and total nitrogen in sediments were found not to be correlated with species, probably due to their moderate values all along the study area.

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Bioloxía Animal, Facultade de Bioloxia, Universidade Santiago, Santiago de Compostela - 15706, Spain


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