Several species of bivalves coexist at the lower intertidal of large tidal flats located in the enclosed or inland coast of the northern area of the Nord-Patagonic archipelagos on the Chilean coast (ca. 40-42°S): Tagelus dombeii (Lamarck), Mulinia edulis (King & Broderip), Venus antiqua King & Broderip, Semele solida (Gray), Gari solida (Gray) and Diplodonta insconspicua Philippi. To explore possible spatial variation in the community structure of the macroinfauna inhabiting sediments with different assemblages of these bivalves, seasonal sampling was carried out during 2003-2004 at two tidal flats of that area. Higher species richness and specimen densities of the macroinfauna occurred in sediments with the higher densities of bivalves, especially in sediments where the deep burrower T. dombeii reaches its greatest abundances. Our results suggest that, apart from presence of bivalves, the burrowing depth of these organisms is also important in promoting the abundance of macroinfauna. Our results are in contrast with earlier conceptualizations for community organization of the soft bottom macroinfauna inhabiting intertidal flats, related to biological interactions occurring among different phyletic groups, such as that arguing that suspension feeding bivalves (such as T. dombeii and V. antiqua) will negatively affect the recruitment of species with planktonic larvae, by filtering them before they become established in the substrate. Thus, it is concluded that beneficial effects of bivalve bioturbation overcome that negative effects on the macroinfauna, although detrimental effects may well occur at bivalve densities higher than those studied here.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Ciencias acuáticas