The macrofauna associated with the bryozoan Schizoporella unicornis in southeastern Brazil
Keywords:Schizoporella, bryozoan, faunal association, macrofauna, trophic groups, Brazil
The invertebrate fauna associated with colonies of the bryozoan Schizoporella errata was studied at two sites differing in hydrodynamism in southeastern Brazil. Patterns of species distribution, abundance, and diversity were similar at both sites. Polychaetes dominated the assemblages, both in number of individuals and species, with 70 species distributed in 20 families. Decapod crustaceans were also abundant, mainly anomuran crabs and caridean shrimps. Cluster analysis separated the samples from each site, and further analysis indicated that an interaction between water movement and trophic structure could explain these differences. At the site with low water movement, more muddy sediments were found inside the colonies, and a greater proportion of deposit-feeders was found. At the other site, higher hydrodynamism resulted in less sediments within the colonies, and favoured the occurrence of more filter-feeders. The trophic structure of faunal assemblages can help understand the structure of assemblages associated with biogenic substrata, as already demonstrated for benthic communities.
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