Pacific Science Volume 53, Number 3, 1999

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Pacific Science is a quarterly publication devoted to the biological and physical sciences of the Pacific Region.

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    Abundance and Horizontal Distribution of Meiofauna on a Northern California Beach
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1999-07) Hooge, Matthew D.
    Distribution and abundance of meiofauna on a sandy beach in Big Lagoon, California, were studied during a 3-week period in the summer of 1996. Sediment cores were taken to a depth of 10 em at three tidal levels. In addition to quantitative counts of meiofauna, exposure to air, percentage water content, and grain size composition were determined f-or each sample. Results of Spearman rank correlations revealed that median grain size, percentage exposure to air, and sediment saturation were strongly correlated to differences in meiofauna abundance at the mid and low water stations. Mean meiofauna abundance was 779 individuals per 100 cm3 of sand. Nematodes and oligochaetes made up approximately 80% of the mean abundance at the midwater stations. Although polychaetes accounted for approximately 70% of the mean total meiofauna at the low water stations, the most numerically dominant group varied on different sampling days and included polychaetes, gastrotrichs, turbellarians, and nematodes. New distributional records for Northern California include Nematoplana nigrocapitula (Turbellaria, Proseriata), Turbanella mustela (Gastrotricha, Macrodasyida), and Microcerberus abbotti (Isopoda, Microcerberoidea).
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    Nerillidae of Hawai'i: Two New Records of Interstitial Polychaetes
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1999-07) Bailey-Brock, Julie H.
    Two species of the polychaete family Nerillidae are reported from sand collected from the south shore of O'ahu, Hawai'i. Nerilla antennata O. Schmidt was collected from a shallow fringing reef, and Mesonerilla fagei Swedmark with coarse sand from Honolulu Harbor. Both are less than 0.5 mm in length and occupy an interstitial habitat. Nerilla antennata has a broad geographic distribution including Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and M. fagei is known from the North Atlantic. The morphology of Hawaiian specimens is described and reproductive stages of M. fagei are illustrated.
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    Two New Pacific Ocean Species of Hyocrinid Crinoids (Echinodermata), with Comments on Presumed Giant-Dwarf Gradients Related to Seamounts and Abyssal Plains
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1999-07) Roux, Michel ; Pawson, David L.
    Hyocrinus foelli, n. sp. is a small hyocrinid sea lily from the abyssal ferromanganese nodule fields of the North Pacific Ocean. Hyocrinus giganteus, n. sp. is a very large hyocrinid from Horizon Seamount in the eastern Pacific that shows close affinities to H. cyanae from the western Pacific, off New Caledonia. A possible giant-dwarf heterochronic gradient, related to scarcity of food supply in abyssal plains and its abundance in seamount environments, is discussed.
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    Ecological Observations on Dialommus fuscus (Labrisomidae), the "Four-Eyed Blenny" of the Galapagos Islands
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1999-07) Nieder, Jurgen
    Information is presented on the behavior, abundance, and distribution of Dialommus fuscus Gilbert in its intertidal habitat on the island of Santa Cruz, Galapagos Archipelago, Ecuador.
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    Botany and Genetics of New Caledonian Wild Taro, Colocasia esculenta
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1999-07) Ivancic, Anton ; Lebot, Vincent
    Taro, Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott, is considered to be an introduced crop in New Caledonia and has been cultivated since its introduction by Melanesian farmers. Wild germplasm exists on the main (continental) island and is represented by three easily distinguished morphotypes: a morphotype with purple leaves, another with green leaves, and a third with green leaves and a purple vein junction on the lamina. All three morphotypes are diploids (2n = 2x = 28) and have well-established wild populations in many valleys and gulches of the main island. The morphotype with purple leaves has all typical traits of a wild genotype (inedible corms; long, thin stolons); the other two produce edible corms. The purple and the green morphotypes flower and produce fertile pollen. The spathes of the green morphotype can be more than 40 cm long and the spadix is characterized by an extremely long appendix atypical for Pacific taros. Isozyme analysis conducted using four enzyme systems (EST, PGM, PGI, SkDH) indicated that New Caledonian wild taros differ from most widely grown local cultivars and Pacific cultivated and wild genotypes. Evidence presented in this study suggests that C. esculenta is an endemic species to New Caledonia. Cultivars were probably introduced as clones from what is now Vanuatu by early Melanesian migrants and were not domesticated locally from existing wild forms, which appear to be genetically distant from other Melanesian wild taros.
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