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Meiofauna and free-living nematodes in volcanic sands of a remote South Atlantic, oceanic island (Trindade, Brazil)

  • T.M.T. Santos (a1) and V. Venekey (a1)


This study presents patterns of spatial and temporal variation in the meiofaunal community and nematode associations on the volcanic sandy beaches of Trindade Island, a remote oceanic island in the South-east Atlantic Ocean. Samples were collected in August (rainy season) and December 2014 (dry season) on four beaches (Tartarugas, Parcel, Cabritos and Portugueses) at three zones of the intertidal (high, mid and low). A total of 10 meiofaunal groups were found. Copepods (31%) and nematodes (27%) dominated the meiofauna in all beaches and zones, regardless of the season. Nematodes were comprised mainly of non-selective deposit feeders, with a total of 27 genera from 12 families, with Cyatholaimidae, Xyalidae and Oncholaimidae as the most diverse and abundant. Significant differences were found in the meiofaunal community, as well as in nematode associations, among seasons and intertidal zones but not among beaches. The sediment characteristics were the main drivers regulating the structure of meiobenthic fauna in Trindade Island. Our findings are also compared to other studies focusing on the meiofauna and nematodes of oceanic islands with carbonate and volcanic sediments; the major patterns are herein presented.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: T.M.T. Santos, Grupo de Estudos de Nematoda Aquáticos (GENAQ), Laboratório de Pesquisa em Monitoramento Ambiental Marinho, Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA), Av. Augusto Corrêa, 01, 66075-110 Guamá–Belém–PA, Brazil email:


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