Patterns of polychaete diversity in selected tropical intertidal habitats
Keywords:Polychaeta, Andaman Sea, tropical intertidal habitats, spatial scale
Few studies have quantitatively compared benthic macrofaunal assemblages between different tropical intertidal habitats over differing spatial scales. The present study uses spatially nested material from vegetated (seagrass) and non-vegetated (mudflat) habitats in SW Thailand to address this issue. Polychaetes were the numerically dominant component of benthic assemblages throughout the region, comprising over 74% of the total macrofauna. Despite great within-site and sample variation, based on species diversity, polychaete assemblages were mostly site-specific. Not so visibly obvious were the evident differences in polychaete assemblages between habitats. The spatial pattern of polychaete diversity is explored.
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