This study reports on the distribution of polychaete assemblages along a depth gradient from 5 to 25 m, along a stretch of rocky coast near Otranto (South Adriatic sea, Italy). Three depths were sampled in May and November 2000. At each depth three sites (about 100 m apart) were sampled by scraping off three replicate quadrats of 20x20 cm. The experimental design enabled identification of across- and along-shore spatial patterns of variation of polychaete assemblages. A total of 4,168 specimens, belonging to 152 taxa were collected. Multivariate analysis showed that the polychaete assemblages differed significantly among depths with the clearest differences between the shallowest sites (5 m) and the deeper ones (15-25 m). A considerable source of variation among sites at each level of the shore was also exhibited by the analyses, with the greatest differences among sites within depths recorded at 5 m. The species most contributing to the differentiation of assemblages among depths and sites within each depth were identified. Some potential causes of the observed differences are hypothesized and discussed. The importance of quantitative observation to provide the context for studying the underlying ecological processes is also stressed.

Polychaete assemblages of rocky shore along the South Adriatic coast (Mediterranean Sea): pattern of spatial distribution

S. FRASCHETTI;
2003

Abstract

This study reports on the distribution of polychaete assemblages along a depth gradient from 5 to 25 m, along a stretch of rocky coast near Otranto (South Adriatic sea, Italy). Three depths were sampled in May and November 2000. At each depth three sites (about 100 m apart) were sampled by scraping off three replicate quadrats of 20x20 cm. The experimental design enabled identification of across- and along-shore spatial patterns of variation of polychaete assemblages. A total of 4,168 specimens, belonging to 152 taxa were collected. Multivariate analysis showed that the polychaete assemblages differed significantly among depths with the clearest differences between the shallowest sites (5 m) and the deeper ones (15-25 m). A considerable source of variation among sites at each level of the shore was also exhibited by the analyses, with the greatest differences among sites within depths recorded at 5 m. The species most contributing to the differentiation of assemblages among depths and sites within each depth were identified. Some potential causes of the observed differences are hypothesized and discussed. The importance of quantitative observation to provide the context for studying the underlying ecological processes is also stressed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/768733
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