Macrobenthic intertidal communities from wave to tide dominated beach environments. A case study in two Brazilian beaches
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Modification showed by intertidal macrofaunal communities between two nearby sites that change from a wave to a tide dominated beach environment, was analyzed on the present study. At each site, eleven intertidal sampling stations were distributed along a transect, from the drift line to the spring low tide water level. Four macrofaunal samples one meter long-shore spaced were collected at, each station with an iron core of 0.05 m(2) surface area, taken to a depth of 20 cm. Major,differences on sediments between sites were the offshore decrease of mean particle size diameter and increase of kurtosis and water content at the tide dominated site. KIDS ordination showed major similarities between the lowest stations of this site, that represents the dissipative low tide-terrace portion of the beach. Two lower station of the wave dominated site presented similarities with this group. The other stations of the tide-dominated site, that represents the reflective high tide beach portion, grouped distant from the former. (canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) showed a similar spatial distribution of stations, suggesting the importance of environmental factors on the explanation of species distribution patterns. Sediment water content and water table depth, with the highest inertia value, seems to be the principal physical factor. Increase on water content affects the macrofaunal distribution by the expansion of typical infralitoral species, as was the case of Bathyporeiapus ruffoi, on the dissipative low tide terrace beach portion. A disrupted distribution with the lost of a gradate zonation along a physical gradient is one of the major modification presented by macrobenthic communities on the transition from a wave to a tide dominated beach environment.