The polychaete community structure from six Halodule wrightii seagrass beds along the Rio de Janeiro coast (Southeast Brazil) was investigated. Variations in species diversity, overall density and species composition in relation to sediment grain size, seagrass biomass and selected plant structural features such as root and shoot length from the study sites were analysed. Ten core samples (0.02 m 2 ) were randomly collected from each site. Three additional samples were taken for grain size analysis of sediment. Sixty-eight species of polychaetes belonging to 24 families were found. The dominant species as well as species composition varied greatly among sites, showing that a typical polychaete community does not exist. The number of species was positively correlated with the silt-clay percent and sorting coefficient of the sediment. A positive correlation between polychaete density and plant biomass was also obtained. Multivariate analysis indicated that polychaete communities were influenced greatly by seagrass plant features: plants with longer shoots harbour mainly surfacedeposit feeders such as Magelona papillicornis, whereas plants with a higher rootshoot length relation sheltered mainly suspension or interface feeders like Fabricia filamentosa. This study demonstrates that granulometric properties as well as plant architecture play an important role in structuring the polychaete community. As the community-level response can reflect changes in local seagrass beds, the structure of the polychaete community can be an important indicator for management plans and the restoration of seagrass ecosystems.
Sandy beaches constitute a key ecosystem and provide socioeconomic goods and services, thereby playing an important role in the maintenance of human populations and in biodiversity conservation. Despite the ecological and social importance of these ecosytems, Brazilian sandy beaches are significantly impacted by human interference, chemical and organic pollution and tourism, as well as global climate change. These factors drive the need to better understand the environmental change and its consequences for biota. To promote the implementation of integrated studies to detect the effects of regional and global environmental change on beaches and on other benthic habitats of the Brazilian coast, Brazilian marine researchers have established The Coastal Benthic Habitats Monitoring Network (ReBentos). In order to provide input for sample planning by ReBentos, we have conducted an intensive review of the studies conducted on Brazilian beaches and summarized the current knowledge about this environment. In this paper, we present the results of this review and describe the physical, biological and socioeconomics features of Brazilian beaches. We have used these results, our personal experience and worldwide literature to identify research projects that should be prioritized in the assessment of regional and global change on Brazilian sandy beaches. We trust that this paper will provide insights for future studies and represent a significant step towards the conservation of Brazilian beaches and their biodiversity.
In order to ¢nd the most suitable parameter for measuring the nereidid Laonereis acuta, correlations between total length or weight and eight morphological measurements: width of prostomium and 2nd, 6th, 13th and 19th setigers, length of the prostomium, length through segment 6th and length through segment 13th, were established. The width measurements showed the highest values of r, and were the most reliable indicators of size. Comparisons between weight and morphological measurements showed a similar pattern as well as negative allometric growth.
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