MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Intertidal mussels as ecosystem engineers: their associated invertebrate biodiversity under contrasting wave exposures
ARRIBAS L.P.; DONNARUMMA L.; PALOMO, M.G.; SCROSATI, R.A.
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2014 vol. 44 p. 203 - 203
Mussels often act as ecosystem engineers in rockyintertidal habitats, favoring the occurrence of many smallinvertebrates by increasing habitat complexity and improvinglocal environmental conditions. This study tests the hypothesisthat invertebrate assemblages from intertidal mussel bedsdiffer between wave-sheltered and wave-exposed habitats. Tothis aim, we surveyed exposed and sheltered sites spanning350 km of coastline in Nova Scotia, Canada.We identified allinvertebrates and measured their abundance in replicate quadratsthat were fully covered by mussels. In total, we found 50invertebrate taxa living in these mussel beds. Multivariateanalyses revealed that the composition of invertebrate assemblagesdiffered significantly between both habitat types.Exposed habitats supported a greater species richness, andthe species that mainly explained the compositional differencebetween both environments were more abundant in exposedones. Assemblages were taxonomically dominated by arthropods,annelids, and molluscs and numerically dominated bytubificid oligochaetes regardless of exposure. Our results suggestthat exposed habitats may favor the occurrence of filterfeeders,such as barnacles, and sheltered habitats the occurrenceof predators, such as small crabs and sea stars, inintertidal mussel beds from the NWAtlantic coast.