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Spatiotemporal Size-Class Distribution of Turbanella mustela (Gastrotricha: Macrodasyida) on a Northern California Beach and Its Effect on Tidal Suspension

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Title:Spatiotemporal Size-Class Distribution of Turbanella mustela (Gastrotricha: Macrodasyida) on a Northern California Beach and Its Effect on Tidal Suspension
Authors:Hochberg, Rick
Date Issued:Jan 1999
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Hochberg R. 1999. Spatiotemporal size-class distribution of Turbanella mustela (Gastrotricha: Macrodasyida) on a northern California beach and its effect on tidal suspension. Pac Sci 53(1): 50-60.
Abstract:The size-class distribution of the marine interstitial gastrotrich
Turbanella mustela Wieser was analyzed at a high-energy beach in northern
California. Five 100-um size classes, each corresponding to a particular sexual
phase of the species, fluctuated in percentage abundance at both temporal and
spatial scales. On average, the most abundant size classes over the 3-day period
were the 100-199-um group (prereproductive juveniles) and the 200-299-um
group (male phase). Significant differences were evident spatially, where aggregations
at the vertical and horizontal level contributed to patchy size-class
distributions. Members of the largest size class (postreproductive or male
phase) were in low abundance, and juveniles and reproductive individuals made
up the bulk of the population. The smallest size class (100-199 um) was most
aggregated in the top 5 cm of sand and differed significantly in percentage
abundance from all other size classes at that depth. This size class is also the
only size class to decrease significantly in percentage abundance on a vertical
scale and increase in percentage abundance on a horizontal scale. Three hypotheses
accounting for the observed size-class variations are entertained: sexual
phase stratification, interspecific interactions, and intraspecific trophic relations.
All three hypotheses are important for understanding the importance of
these size-class aggregations and may lead to a better understanding of the
factors that influence local spatial patterns in gastrotrichs. Size-class stratification
may also function in the planktonic dispersal of individuals in both tidal
and longshore directions, ultimately affecting the geographic distribution of the
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 53, Number 1, 1999

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