Low Benthic Macrofauna Diversity in Dynamic, Tropical Tidal Mudflats: Migrating Banks on Guiana's Coast, South America

Abstract : In tropical South America, the mudflats of the Amazonian coast are unique because of their large size and unrivaled migration dynamics. On Guiana´s coast, macrofaunal communities are believed to be well-adapted to these dynamic conditions. In this study, the benthic macrofauna was sampled in April 2012 in the Awala-Yalimapo region of western French Guiana and at two sites in Suriname, Warappa Kreek and Bigi Pan, These sites are found 800, 920, and 1,140 km from the Amazon delta, respectively. The richness, diversity, and densities of the macrofaunal communities in these mudflats are here described for the first time. Only 38 OTU were recorded, among which two species were common and widely distributed: the tanaid crustacean Halmyrapseudes spaansi and the polychaete Sigambra grubii; the former represented 84% of all individuals collected, with densities reaching up to 73,000 individuals. m-2. Most of the OTU consisted of relatively small individuals (< 10 mm in length). The very low richness and diversity and the small sizes of the organisms are likely linked to the instability and softness of the substrate on these mudflats. This study suggests that the differences in macrofaunal community composition among sites could be due to the migration stage of banks rather than the distance from the Amazon Delta and associated effects of river discharge.
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Jérôme Jourde, Dupuy Christine, Hien Nguyen, David Mizrahi, Nyls de Pracontal, et al.. Low Benthic Macrofauna Diversity in Dynamic, Tropical Tidal Mudflats: Migrating Banks on Guiana's Coast, South America. Estuaries and Coasts, Springer Verlag, 2017, ⟨10.1007/s12237-016-0205-y⟩. ⟨hal-01428844⟩

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