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Meiobenthos at the mouth of the Grevelingen and Oosterschelde Estuaries in the Southern Eight of the North Sea was monitored using meiobenthic abundance and nematode community structure. Hierarchical sampling included 54 subsamples nested within 18 cores within six stations within two transects. The spatial patterns of the meiofaunal populations and communities are presented in cm-scale (among subsamples), m-scale (among cores), km-scale (among stations) and IO km-scale (between transects). The variance components analysis of meiofaunal abundances showed that km-scale and 10 km-scale represented 63- 90% of total variance while m-scale and cm-scale provided only 10-37%. Different communities were found among stations rather than among cores or subsamples by detrended correspondence analysis ordination and clustering analysis. The main assemblage of meiofauna occurred at the km-scale. Nematode diversity was more powerful than meiofaunal abundance in detecting spatial variation at all scales. However, at least two replicates are required for monitoring when sampling using a 10 cm(2) subsampling core. [KEYWORDS: Free-living nematodes; continental-shelf; marine nematodes; communities; meiofauna; toxicity; dispersion; diversity; patterns; ecology]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-278
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ID: 301697