Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

Persistence of infaunal polychaete zonation patterns on a sheltered, intertidal sandflat. Technical Report

Read, G.B.
Journal / Source
New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research
Polychaete, worm, infauna, benthos, benthic, intertidal, ecological zonation, population density, soft substrate habitat, seasonal variations, Pauatahanui Inlet, estuarine
Macrofaunal polychaete densities across a fine-sand intertidal flat in Pauatahanui Inlet, North Island, New Zealand, were examined seasonally from a pair of adjacent transects. Density patterns had shore-normal trends, despite weak tidal-cycle environmental gradients. Abundances frequently corresponded between transects separated by 15 m. Capitella sp., Nicon aestuariensis, and Scolecolepides benhami declined in density downshore, whereas Heteromastus filiformis increased. Microspio maori and Axiothella serrata lacked strong trends. Boccardia acus' density was affected by the size and number of the bivalve Chione stutchburyi, its substratum. Basic zonation patterns of each species persisted over a 2 year period. Within the density concentrations seasonal cycles were apparent, with some population redistribution attributable to differential mortality (//. filiformis), to recruitment (M. maori, A. serrata), or to migration (TV. aestuariensis, S. benhami).