Oligochaetes play an important role in nutrient cycling and energy flow in benthic food webs as well as in mangrove wetlands. However, they have not been as extensively studied as other macrofaunal groups such as polychaetes, gastropods, bivalves, and crustaceans. Under the assumption that oligochaete density and biomass obey specific geographical distribution patterns in subtropical mangrove wetlands of China, we investigated these two parameters in the Luoyang Estuary of Quanzhou Bay, Zhangjiang Estuary and Gaoqiao mangrove wetlands. A geographical gradient in oligochaete density was present in Aegiceras corniculatum and Kandelia obovata habitats, whereby it decreased from lower latitudes to higher latitudes. Further, ANOVA tests on oligochaete distribution revealed that both oligochaete density and biomass were significantly influenced by region, season and region × season at the A. corniculatum and K. obovata habitats. The annual average oligochaete density and biomass at the A. corniculatum habitat were higher than that at the K. obovata habitat, in both the Luoyang and Zhangjiang estuaries. There were significant correlations between oligochaete density and biomass and sediment particle size parameters, confirming that sand, silt, and clay contents were the key environmental factors affecting oligochaete distribution.
Journal of Ocean University of China – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 12, 2017
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