Distribution of Polychaeta and Amphipoda in Coastal Communities

The taxonomic groups of Polychaeta and Amphipoda are among the prominent biota in coastal ecosystems, both in terms of species richness and abundance. Given their ecological significance, literature references confirm their status as sensitive environmental indicators and support their utility as key taxa for biomonitoring. However, before these taxa can be used to specify disturbances, as demanded by international directives and conventions, it is necessary to provide a database on their distribution on natural benthic communities with comprehensive base line information on their presence at various geographic areas. The distribution of these two taxa shows significant differences with respect to the type of substratum, and therefore their ratio will be examined separately. In general, Polychaeta is the dominant group in soft-substratum communities comprising over half of both the species richness and the numerical abundance, whereas Amphipoda co-occur in hard substratum.

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