Composition and vertical distribution of metazoan meiofauna assemblages at continental shelf off central Chile

Williams Caballero, Eulogio Soto, Eduardo Quiroga


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3856/vol43-issue5-fulltext-12

Abstract


A quantitative study of metazoan meiofaunal was carried out at Valparaiso bay (33°S 71°W) which is affected by seasonal hypoxia in central Chile. Bottom water dissolved oxygen (BWDO), sediment organic carbon, sediment-bound chloroplastic pigments and carbon stable isotope composition (d13C) contents were used as measures of the input from water column primary production, which accumulated on the sediment. Meiofaunal abundances at three benthic stations sampled (80 – 130 m depth) ranged from 2.218 ± 643 ind. 10 cm-2 to 1.592 ± 148 ind.  10 cm-2. Nine metazoan meiofaunal taxa were recorded being nematodes the dominant group, contributing with more than 95% of total abundances. Abundance vertical distribution was concentrated at the first sediment layer in the majority of groups with the exception of Acari and Nauplii larvae. We found that the BWDO, total organic carbon (TOC), chlorophyll a (Chla) and chloroplastic pigment equivalent (CPE) decreased with depth, but we did not found significant correlations between meiofauna abundance and sediment parameters. The current results represent a first approach to knowledge of soft-bottom meiofaunal assemblage’s ecology at Valparaiso bay and may be useful as a baseline for future comparisons and descriptions of ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) conditions and seasonal variations of these unknown benthic communities.


Caballero W, Soto E, Quiroga E. Composition and vertical distribution of metazoan meiofauna assemblages at continental shelf off central Chile. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.. 2017;43(5). Available from: doi:10.3856/vol43-issue5-fulltext-12 [Accessed 22 Jan. 2019].
Caballero, W., Soto, E., & Quiroga, E. (2017). Composition and vertical distribution of metazoan meiofauna assemblages at continental shelf off central Chile. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 43(5). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3856/vol43-issue5-fulltext-12