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Distribution of benthic fauna in sediment grains and prop roots of a mangrove channel in south-eastern Brazil

  • Debora De Souza Silva-Camacho (a1), Rafaela De S. Gomes (a1), Joaquim N.S. Santos (a2) and Francisco Gerson Araújo (a1)


We examined the benthic fauna in four areas along a mangrove tidal channel in south-eastern Brazil, between October 2008 and August 2009. The tested hypothesis is that the most abundant groups avoid competition as they occupy different types of substrata and that the longitudinal distance from the sea also affects the occurrence of benthic fauna along the channel. We also examined the prop root epibiont fauna to describe this different community. Polychaeta was the dominant group in the sediment whereas Isopoda and Tanaidacea were the dominant groups on the prop roots. We found a tendency for higher infauna species richness and diversity in the innermost channel area during the summer. Higher abundance of epibiont fauna was also found in summer with tidal movements allowing the colonization of the prop roots of the mangrove forest by some taxa. The polychaetes Ceratocephale sp. and Laeonereis acuta had indication of habitat partitioning, with the first occurring mainly in very fine sand sediment whereas the latter preferred medium sand sediment. The microcrustaceans Chelorchestia darwini and Tanaidacea sp. 1 occurred in high abundance colonizing the prop roots. Exosphaeroma sp. was found in high abundance in infauna and epibiont fauna. The tested hypothesis of spatial partitioning of the mangrove channel by the benthic fauna was confirmed with the most abundant species occupying the substrata with different grain fractions and prop roots in different stations.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: F.G. Araújo, Laboratório de Ecologia de Peixes, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, BR 465, km 7, CEP 23890-000 Seropédica, RJ, Brasil email:


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Distribution of benthic fauna in sediment grains and prop roots of a mangrove channel in south-eastern Brazil

  • Debora De Souza Silva-Camacho (a1), Rafaela De S. Gomes (a1), Joaquim N.S. Santos (a2) and Francisco Gerson Araújo (a1)


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