Macroinfauna Dynamics and Sediment Parameters of a Subtropical Estuarine Lake—Coombabah Lake (Southern Moreton Bay, Australia)
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The distribution, composition, density, and biomass of benthic macrofauna within estuarine environments typically exhibit significant variations attributable to heterogeneity in and interactions between physical, biological, and chemical processes. The spatial and temporal dynamics of benthic macroinfauna assemblages and physicochemical sediment parameters within the intertidal mudflats of a subtropical estuarine lake (Coombabah Lake, Southern Moreton Bay) were studied at four sites from August 2006 to April 2007. No significant seasonal changes were observed at any site for all physical sediment parameters. The northern sample sites were characterised by fine- to medium-grained to moderately to poorly sorted sediments and the southern sample sites by fine-grained to moderately well to well-sorted. A total of 1029 individuals representing species from three orders, including deposit feeding and filter feeding macroinfaunal groups, were collected. The highest combined species densities occurred in the fine-grained southern sites, with the greatest combined species density occurring at Site 4 during winter. Amphipods (Victoriopisa australiensis) and polychaete worms (Simplisetia aequisetis) dominated the lake-wide faunal community with V. australiensis, representing 49% of the total retrieved macroinfauna. Significant correlations between mean macroinfauna densities, biomassDW, sediment parameters, and seasonal maximum monthly temperatures were identified during the study. Seasonal trends in combined site densities were observed at each of the lake sites, with the highest combined density occurring during winter. Spatial and temporal variations might also be partially explained by the predation pressures of fish and migratory wading birds within the lake, with the seasonal presence of migratory wading birds coinciding with the minimum observed macroinfauna densities at each sample site.
Journal of Coastal Research
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Oceanography not elsewhere classified