Marine Biology

, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 93–100 | Cite as

Distribution of the soft-bottom macroinfauna in an estuary of Southern Chile

  • W. Richter


In April 1981, a quantitative survey (20 stations) of the soft-bottom macroinfauna of the littoral and sublittoral was conducted in a Southern Chilean estuary. A principal component analysis rendered three groups of stations with different substrate conditions. A total of 16 775 animals was collected (40 taxa), with Oligochaeta, Polychaeta and Ostracoda representing 83% of the individuals. Most of the biomass was attributed to Bivalvia (43.7%) and Polychaeta (33.6%). Factor analysis using abundance data of the 21 most abundant taxa rendered three groups of stations in the Q-mode (a cluster analysis rendered 4) and three groups of taxa in the R-mode. One group mainly inhabited the sandy outlet area of the estuary where salinity was highest. Another group of organisms was mainly found in the upper zone of the estuary where salinity was low and the substrate was muddy. The third group was principally distributed in the central part of the estuary and spread from there either to the outlet area or to the upper zone. Some ungrouped taxa were distributed relatively homogeneously within the estuary. It was found that besides substrate properties salinity and turbulence also played an important role in the distribution of organisms in the Río Lingue Estuary.


Biomass Principal Component Analysis Cluster Analysis Bivalvia Polychaeta 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Richter
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für MeeresforschungBremerhaven 1Federal Republic of Germany

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