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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690

Abstract

MARIA, TATIANA F.; VANAVERBEKE, JAN; VANREUSEL, ANN  and  ESTEVES, ANDRÉ M.. Sandy beaches: state of the art of nematode ecology. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2016, vol.88, n.3, suppl., pp.1635-1653.  Epub Oct 10, 2016. ISSN 0001-3765.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201620150282.

In this review, we summarize existing knowledge of the ecology of sandy-beach nematodes, in relation to spatial distribution, food webs, pollution and climate change. We attempt to discuss spatial scale patterns (macro-, meso- and microscale) according to their degree of importance in structuring sandy-beach nematode assemblages. This review will provide a substantial background on current knowledge of sandy-beach nematodes, and can be used as a starting point to delineate further investigations in this field. Over decades, sandy beaches have been the scene of studies focusing on community and population ecology, both related to morphodynamic models. The combination of physical factors (e.g. grain size, tidal exposure) and biological interactions (e.g. trophic relationships) is responsible for the spatial distribution of nematodes. In other words, the physical factors are more important in structuring nematodes communities over large scale of distribution while biological interactions are largely important in finer-scale distributions. It has been accepted that biological interactions are assumed to be of minor importance because physical factors overshadow the biological interactions in sandy beach sediments; however, the most recent results from in-situ and ex-situ experimental investigations on behavior and biological factors on a microscale have shown promise for understanding the mechanisms underlying larger-scale patterns and processes. Besides nematodes are very promising organisms used to understand the effects of pollution and climate changes although these subjects are less studied in sandy beaches than distribution patterns.

Keywords : biodiversity; benthos; distribution patterns; food webs; climatic changes.

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