Variability of macrofauna distribution along a dissipative log-spiral sandy beach in Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Brazil
Carlos A.M. Barboza, Tatiana Cabrini, Gustavo Mattos, Viviane Skinner, Ricardo Cardoso

Log-spiral beaches display defined physical gradients alongshore. However, the majority of studies focus on the variability of a single population of macrofauna species. We aimed to investigate the variation in species distribution and in community structure along ten transects on a log-spiral beach. Principal component analysis indicated a clear physical gradient alongshore. Redundancy analysis showed that the sheltered end was related to smaller particle sizes, higher organic matter content and high densities of polychaetes. The exposed end was characterized by coarser sand, lower organic matter content and a high presence of crustaceans. Model selection indicated that the “best fit” to explain the variability in the number of individuals included grain size and beach slope. Variability of the polychaete Scolelepis squamata was best explained by grain size, slope and sediment sorting. The best model for the cirolanid Excirolana armata only included sediment sorting. The physical gradient in sediment texture and the beach slope explained more than one-third of the variability in community structure. The physical variables were also correlated with the distribution of the individual species. We showed that the physical gradient on log-spiral coasts may be an important driver of macrofauna variability, even at mesoscales and in dissipative conditions.

Keywords: macrofauna assemblage; curved beaches; mesoscale; intertidal; morphodynamic; physical gradient
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 81(1) : 111-120 Back PDF
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