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Investigaciones marinas

versión On-line ISSN 0717-7178


BRAZEIRO, Alejandro; ROZBACZYLO, Nicolás  y  FARINA, José Miguel. Macrofaunal spatial distribution on a exposed sandy beach of central Chile: effects of intertidal morphodynamic. Investig. mar. [online]. 1998, vol.26, pp.119-126. ISSN 0717-7178.

Although spatial heterogeneity (patchiness) is common in sandy beaches, it has been poorly studied. Patchiness in sandy beach populations has been well documented, but its explanation is usually unknown. In the present paper we propose that the spatial variability of intertidal morphodynamic affect the macrofauna spatial distribution (zonation) and abundance along the beach. We analyzed in a sandy beach of central Chile the effects of the spatial variability of the intertidal morphodynamic, upon macrofaunal density and zonation, by comparing sites of contrasting morphology: bays and horns. In comparison, bays were zones of gentler slope, greater intertidal amplitude, lesser swash frequency, and have lesser percentage of coarse sand than horns. In general, the macrofaunal species tend to be more abundant on bays, but only Excirolana braziliensis showed significantly differences. Accordingly with this general trend, the total macrofauna density was significantly higher on bays. By contrast, the species richness per transect was not different between bays and horns. The species of the macrofauna showed evident zonation patterns, which were demonstrated by important differences of abundance among intertidal levels (i.e., high, mid, low). The zonation of the macrofauna, as well as the zonation patterns of Excirolana hirsuticauda, Orchestoidea tuberculata and Euzonus heterocirrus differed between bays and horns. We concluded that the spatial variability of abundance and zonation alongshore, would be associated in some species with variations in the intertidal morphodynamic

Palabras clave : macrofauna; intertidal; morphodynamic; patchiness; sandy beach; zonation.

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