Temporal and spatial distribution of three supralittoral amphipod species on a sandy beach of central Italy
The distribution of three talitrid species—Talitrus saltator (Montagu, 1808), Orchestia gammarella (Pallas, 1766), Platorchestia platensis (Kroyer, 1845)—in the beach-dune system at the mouth of the Mignone River (central Italy) was analysed. It was related to the variations of the following abiotic factors: temperature, penetrability, pH, conductivity and moisture of the sediment. The beach-dune system is influenced by human impact and natural erosion. All species showed a maximum capture frequency in November, while the abundance decreased to a minimum in July. T. saltator was dominant on the beach, the other two along the riverbank. Juveniles were abundant along the riverbank; they were most abundant in November and almost disappeared in summer. T. saltator was more abundant near the waterline during the hottest months and occupied the inner beach in winter, with occasional presences on the dune. Regression analysis between the abiotic factors and species abundance showed a positive relationship with pH and temperature for T. saltator, while O. gammarella was negatively related to pH. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that penetrability, moisture and temperature had the greatest influence on the species. T. saltator was almost entirely confined to the beach transects and strongly associated with penetrability, temperature and pH values. O. gammarella was mostly associated with the riverbank and P. platensis only found there and on a nearby pool. The two species were mainly influenced by moisture and variations in grain sizes of the sediment.
KeywordsBeach Canonical Correspondence Analysis Sandy Beach Pitfall Trap Trap Location
We wish to thank D. Mariotti, for helping with the field and laboratory work, and A. Pavesi for data on the flora. L. Chelazzi kindly provided procedures for sampling and laboratory analysis, and P. Bellotti hosted us in his lab for the granulometric analysis. We wish to thank V. Ketmaier and one anonymous referee for helpful criticisms on first draft of this manuscript. The work reported here was supported by grants from the Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca, MIUR (PRIN 2002) and from EU (MEDCORE project, ICA3-2002-10003). All experiments carried out, comply with current Italian laws.
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