Scientia Marina, Vol 74, No 3 (2010)

Composition and distribution of subtidal and intertidal crustacean assemblages in soft-bottoms of the Ria de Vigo (NW Spain)


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2010.74n3455

Eva Cacabelos
Dpto. Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Facultade de Ciencias do Mar, Universidade de Vigo , Spain

Antía Lourido
Dpto. Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Facultade de Ciencias do Mar, Universidade de Vigo , Spain

Jesús S. Troncoso
Dpto. Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Facultade de Ciencias do Mar, Universidade de Vigo , Spain

Abstract


The intertidal and subtidal soft-bottoms of the inner area of the Ria de Vigo (NW Spain) were sampled in November and December 1999, and spatial distribution of crustacean species was examined. Environmental variables from water and sediment were measured at each sampling site. Amphipods and myocopids were the numerically dominant orders (49.9 and 26.9% dominance), amphipods accounting for more than 54% of identified taxa. The highest crustacean densities occurred with 55-41 species and 5953.6-4346.4 ind. m–2 in external areas, where the diversity index reached the maximum values. Multivariate techniques revealed that distribution of crustaceans in the inlet was highly dependent on depth. Ordination analysis determined three major assemblages: Intertidal bottoms colonized by seagrasses and subjected to strong variations of salinity were dominated by the amphipod Melita palmata, harpacticoids and the isopod Idotea baltica (Group A). The amphipod Corophium cf. runcicorne and the cumacean Iphinoe tenella predominated in the muddy bottoms of central areas (Group B). These species were also present in the deep muddy bottoms of the mouth of the inlet, with high carbonate and gravel contents, and with the myocopids and the amphipod Microdeutopus cf. armatus displaying maximum dominances (Group C).

Keywords


marine crustaceans; macrofaunal composition; soft bottoms; Ensenada de San Simón; Ria de Vigo; Atlantic Ocean

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