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Habitats of Tubicolous Polychaetes from the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll

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Title:Habitats of Tubicolous Polychaetes from the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll
Authors:Bailey-Brock, Julie H.
Date Issued:Jan 1976
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Bailey-Brock JH. 1976. Habitats of tubicolous polychaetes from the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll. Pac Sci 30(1): 69-81.
Abstract:Forty-seven species of tube-building polychaetes, belonging to the
families Spionidae, Chaetopteridae, Sabellariidae, Terebellidae, Sabellidae, and
Serpulidae, were collected from the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll. Eight
different habitat types or zones were distinguished, each having a characteristic
polychaete fauna.
The tidepools of rocky shores support up to 20 species, including the only tubeincubating
spirorbine found in Hawaii, Spirorbis marioni. Two of the three known
Hawaiian chaetopterids, the large fan worm Sabel/astarte sanctijosephi, and 13
serpulid species occur on reef platforms that lack lush coral growth. Four species
of algae were found with associated polychaetes. The greatest number of species
was associated with Dictyosphaeria cavernosa, which provides suitable habitats for
cryptic and sessile organisms. Live coral heads and the subtidal, fringing reefs
apparently have an impoverished tube-worm fauna. Spirobranchus giganteus is the
only living serpuline associated with live corals. The hard parts of mobile crustaceans
and gastropods reveal a diverse invertebrate fauna, and the species composition
of the associated polychaetes reflects that of the surrounding environment.
Boat harbors and lagoons have a typically rich fauna due to the introduction of
benthic invertebrates on the bottoms of boats. Such habitats remain reservoirs of
introduced species, which are important in the geographical distribution of tube
worms within the islands. Mercierella enigmatica and other euryhaline polychaetes
are found in brackish waters. The unique anchialine pond systems of lava flows
on Maui and Hawaii have discrete polychaete faunas and physical characteristics
influenced by a freshwater lens. Six serpulids and a sabellariid were dredged from
depths of 200 to 600 meters off Oahu and Molokai.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 30, Number 1, 1976

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