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Patterns of sandy-beach macrofauna production

  • Marcelo Petracco (a1), Ricardo Silva Cardoso (a2) and Alexander Turra (a1)

Abstract

Using data available from the literature, patterns of biomass, production and productivity of sandy-beach macrofauna populations were examined, considering environmental (temperature, exposure, grain size and beach slope) and biological variables (life span and mean body mass) and feeding and taxonomic groups. A total of 102 estimates of both production and biomass and 105 estimates of P/B ratios were collected from 52 studies carried out between 42°46′S and 54°05′N, for 83 sandy-beach macrofauna populations. The negative relationship between P/B ratio and beach slope for the supralittoral amphipods agrees with the Habitat Safety Hypothesis, according to which these forms would show higher mortality in dissipative than in reflective beaches. The observed higher production of filter-feeders in exposed than in sheltered beaches suggests that more food is available for filter-feeders in exposed beaches. The higher production of filter-feeders (represented by bivalves and decapods), than of scavengers/predators (peracarids and gastropods) showed the importance of filter-feeders in the food web of sandy beaches. The P/B ratios were strongly related to life span, but weakly or not related to the mean body mass. The high amphipod P/B ratio was attributed to the short life span of these crustaceans; conversely, gastropods showed the lowest P/B ratio, in accordance with their longer life span. The observed differences in biomass, production and P/B ratios within crustaceans and molluscs were attributed to differences in life-history traits and feeding mode.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: M. Petracco, Departamento Oceanografia Biológica, Instituto Oceanográfico, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Praça do Oceanográfico, 191, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, SP, CEP 05508-120, Brazil email: mpetracco@uol.com.br

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Patterns of sandy-beach macrofauna production

  • Marcelo Petracco (a1), Ricardo Silva Cardoso (a2) and Alexander Turra (a1)

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