A quantitative study of metazoan meiofauna was carried out in Valparaiso Bay (33°S 71°W) which is affected by seasonal hypoxia in central Chile. The contents of bottom water, dissolved oxygen (BWDO), organic carbon, chloroplast pigments and composition of stable carbon isotope (δ13C) in the sediment were used as a measure of the contribution of primary production in the water column, which accumulates in the sediment. Meiofauna abundances in the three sampling stations (80-140 m depth) ranged from 2.218 ± 643 to 1.592 ± 148 ind 10 cm-2. Nine upper metazoan meiofauna groups were recorded, with nematodes as the dominant group, contributing with more than 95% of total abundances. The abundance vertical distribution was concentrated in the first layers of sediment in most groups except Acari and nauplii larvae. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed significant correlations (P < 0.05) between the meiofauna abundance and organic content, depth and redox potential from sediments. These results represent a first approach to understanding the ecology of meiofaunal assemblages in the Valparaiso Bay and may be useful as a baseline for future comparisons and descriptions of the ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) and seasonal variations of these unknown benthic communities.
|Translated title of the contribution||Composition and vertical distribution of metazoan meiofauna assemblages on the continental shelf off central Chile|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research|
|State||Published - Nov 2015|