A comparison between macrofaunal communities on mixed shores and rocky and sandy shores in False Bay

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The community structures of three shore types namely: "mixed shores" (those where rocky and sandy-shore habitats are intermixed), pure rocky shores and pure sandy beaches in False Bay, South Africa are compared in this study. Four habitats were identified - pure rock (unaffected by sand), mixed rock (rock affected by sand), mixed sand (sand between emergent rocks) and pure sand (beaches with no emergent rock) - representing a gradation from pure rock to pure sandy beaches. The specific aims of this study were to: (1) Sample quantitatively and describe macrofaunal communities on mixed shores in False Bay; (2) make direct comparisons among both the four types of habitats and three types of shores; and (3) test the hypothesis that sand inundation increases diversity at both habitat (a-diversity) and shore (diversity) level. The biological communities of mixed shores are described in terms of species composition, trophic organisation and zonation. Mixed-shore zonation patterns are different from those previously described for pure rocky shores in the region. The ability of Charomytilus meridiana/is and inability of patellid limpets and various algae, to withstand sand inundation are largely responsible for these differences.

Bibliography: leaves 92-99.