Temporal variation of sandy beach macrofauna at two sites with distinct environmental conditions on Cassino Beach, extreme southern Brazil
Brazilian Journal of Oceanography
Temporal variations of the macrofauna of sandy beaches have been related to variations in the beach morphodynamics and also to the population dynamics of dominant species. The aim of this article is to describe the temporal variation of the intertidal macrofauna at two sites with distinct environmental condition on Cassino Beach, extreme southern Brazil. At each site three transect lines 50 m apart were defined perpendicular to the shore line, from which samples were collected monthly in
... d monthly in triplicate at 4 intertidal levels (10 m apart) from June 2004 to May 2005. During winter a generally low density was observed, due to the absence of recruitments and to the mud deposition, which occurred just before sampling (in April 2004), and to low intensity stranding events. Spring witnessed a population explosion of Scolelepis gaucha, a migration of Mesodesma mactroides adults from the subtidal zone, and a strong stranding event. In the summer, recruitment of M. mactroides, Donax hanleyanus and Emerita brasiliensis was observed. Fall was characterized by low densities, except for D. hanleyanus recruitment. The macrofauna at both sites showed a striking seasonal variation in density and diversity, perhaps attributable to the recruitment of numerically dominant species and physical disturbances (stranding and mud deposition).