Brazilian Journal of Oceanography
On-line version ISSN 1982-436X
VIEIRA, Jenyffer Vierheller; BORZONE, Carlos Alberto; LORENZI, Luciano and CARVALHO, Fabiano Grecco de. Human impact on the benthic macrofauna of two beach environments with different morphodynamic characteristics in southern Brazil. Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2012, vol.60, n.2, pp.135-148. ISSN 1982-436X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-87592012000200004.
Pollution, exploitation of resources, erosion and recreational activities produce the most common impacts that somehow alter the natural balance of beach ecosystems. The aim of this study was to compare the richness and abundance of the benthic macrofauna of two sectors, one non-urbanized and the other urbanized, on each of two morphodynamically different beaches. Sectors of each beach were analyzed taking into account morphodynamic, anthropogenic (recreational activities) and ecological aspects. Morphodynamically, one of the beaches presented sediment formed of fine sand with a gentle slope and morphodynamism with dissipative characteristics. The other was of sediment formed of medium sand with a steep profile and of intermediate to reflective morphodynamic characteristics. On both beaches during the summer, the urbanized sector was frequented by a greater number of users than the non-urbanized sector. On the beach with dissipative morphodynamism, negative relationships were observed between user abundance and the species Bledius bonariensis, Donax hanleyanus, Thoracophelia furcifera, Excirolana armata, Phoxocephalopsis sp. and Tholozodium rhombofrontalis. On the beach with intermediate to reflective morphodynamics, low abundances of Atlantorchestoidea brasiliensis and Excirolana braziliensis were recorded in the urbanized sector. Thus the results of this study suggest the use of certain species as indicators of human impacts on beach ecosystems.
Keywords : Sandy beaches; Morphodynamics; Macroinfauna; Recreational activity.