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DISTRIBUTIONAL ECOLOGY OF AMPHIPODS AND TANAIDACEANS ASSOCIATED WITH THREE SEA GRASS SPECIES

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ABSTRACT A one-year survey of amphipods and tanaidaceans associated with monospecific sea grass meadows and a bare sand substratum, under similar physical-chemical conditions, showed that the magnozosterid Thalassia testudinum supported higher numbers of peracarids per square meter than the parvozosterid Halodule wrightii and the bare sand substratum as predicted by Kikuchi and Peres (1977). However, when examined in terms of numbers of individuals per unit sea grass biomass or surface area, Thalassia and Halodule supported nearly equal numbers of epifauna. Syringodium filiforme, a syringodiid, consistently supported highest surface area-standardized abundances of epifauna. The previously reported significance of sea grass biomass in structuring crustacean assemblages held within, but not across, sea grass species. Although the amphipods and tanaids showed no species-specific association with sea grasses, the relative abundance of crustaceans was a function of both sea grass species and biomass. Relative abundance of infaunal types decreased from bare sand to Halodule to Syringodium to Thalassia sites and from low to high biomass sites. The abundance of peracarid crustaceans on sea grass meadows is a complex function of sea grass growth form and biomass which appear to mediate the distribution and foraging behavior of important predators.

10.1163/193724083X00184
/content/journals/10.1163/193724083x00184
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/content/journals/10.1163/193724083x00184
2017-12-16

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