Cite this paper:
CHOUIKH Nor-eddine, GILLET Patrick, LANGSTON W. J., CHEGGOUR Mohamed, MAAROUF Abdelmalek, MOUABAD Abdelfattah. Spatial distribution and structure of benthic polychaete communities of Essaouira intertidal rocky shores (Atlantic coast of Morocco)[J]. HaiyangYuHuZhao, 2020, 38(1): 143-155

Spatial distribution and structure of benthic polychaete communities of Essaouira intertidal rocky shores (Atlantic coast of Morocco)

CHOUIKH Nor-eddine1, GILLET Patrick2, LANGSTON W. J.3, CHEGGOUR Mohamed4, MAAROUF Abdelmalek1, MOUABAD Abdelfattah1
1 Laboratory “Aliments, Environnement et santé”, Faculty of Sciences and Technics, B. P. 549, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech 40000, Morocco;
2 Mer Molécules Santé, Department of Biology Environment, Faculty of Sciences UCO, Angers 49008, France;
3 Marine Biological Association, the Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB, United Kingdom;
4 Department of Biology, Ecole Normale Supérieure, B. P. 2400, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Abstract:
Polychaetes are one of the most important groups of macrobenthic organisms in coastal and marine environments, in terms of diversity and abundance, and play an important role in the functioning of ecosystem. This study aims to describe the structure and spatial distribution of polychaete communities along Essaouira's rocky shoreline (Atlantic coast of Morocco) in relation to the major environmental variables such as granulometry, salinity, temperature, pH, and intertidal range. Twelve sites from these intertidal rocky shores were sampled using a quadrat method during the summer 2016. A total of 4 435 individuals belonging to 34 taxa were recorded. Among the families, Sabellaridae (24%) and Nereididae (23%) were ranked first in terms of abundance of individuals. Sabellaria alveolata (24%) and Perinereis cultrifera (13%) were the dominant species. Diversity (H') values varied from 2.28 to 3.95. Pielou's index (J') varied between 0.62 and 0.89. This was essentially due to the low dominance of few species. Cluster analysis was used to characterise Essaouira's rocky shores on the basis of benthic polychaete communities. SIMPER analysis confirmed the presence of three distinct communities. According to canonical correspondence analysis, the structure and distribution of faunal assemblages of benthic polychaetes was mainly related to topographical complexity, water temperature, hydrodynamic conditions and upwelling. We conclude that these rocky shores show typically high benthic polychaete diversity compared to the taxonomic list of other rocky coasts. In addition, these results constitute a baseline data for the development of a sustainable network for long-term monitoring of benthic polychaete community changes due to ecological factor influences and anthropogenic activity impacts.
Key words:    polychaetes|taxonomic diversity|Essaouira|rocky shore|faunal assemblage   
Received: 2018-10-17   Revised:
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Articles by CHOUIKH Nor-eddine
Articles by GILLET Patrick
Articles by LANGSTON W. J.
Articles by CHEGGOUR Mohamed
Articles by MAAROUF Abdelmalek
Articles by MOUABAD Abdelfattah
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