Responses of the molluscan fauna to environmental variations in a Halodule wrightii Ascherson ecosystem from Northeastern Brazil
Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
This study observed the spatial and temporal distributions of molluscs in a Halodule wrightii meadow, verifying if they respond satisfactorily to seasonal changes in this seagrass ecosystem. Twenty-four species were identified. Chitons were rare, bivalves had greater number of species (11), followed by gastropods (9) which were also the most abundant class (73%). All classes were more abundant in the belowground. The most common species was Tricolia affinis, especially in aboveground. The
... veground. The occurrence of some species in both strata or out of the expected stratum may have been influenced by shallow layer of the sediment considered in this study, hydrodynamic, and low biomass of the studied meadow. According to univariate and multivariate analyses, despite of molluscan descriptors had been related to variables associated with rainfall, the seagrasses had an important role on the seasonal and vertical variations of the molluscan fauna. The biomass of the epiphyte Hypnea musciformis was correlated to temporal variations of the species from aboveground, indicating its secondary role for this community. The molluscs were sensible to environmental variations, and also reflected seasonal changes of the seagrass, showing that damages on these meadows reflect even at lower levels of the marine food web.