Brazilian Journal of Oceanography
On-line version ISSN 1982-436X
MONTERROSO, Oscar; RIERA, Rodrigo and NUNEZ, Jorge. Subtidal soft-bottom macroinvertebrate communities of the Canary Islands. An ecological approach. Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2012, vol.60, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 1982-436X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-87592012000100001.
The Canarian archipelago is characterized by a mosaic of soft-bottoms such as Cymodocea nodosa meadows, Caulerpa spp. meadows, mäerl bottoms, sabellid fields and bare sandy seabeds, including various macroinfaunal communities. Vegetated habitats (e.g. Cymodocea and Caulerpa) maintain more diverse communities than the non-vegetated seabeds. The results indicated that Caulerpa meadows and, to a lesser extent, Cymodocea nodosa and sabellid fields are the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the study area. Moreover, biodiversity differences among islands could be detected with maximum values on the eastern islands (Lanzarote and Gran Canaria) and lowest values on the western ones (La Palma).
Keywords : Soft-bottoms; meadows; Cymodocea; Caulerpa; macrofauna; Canary Islands; Atlantic Ocean.