Species richness of the genus Molgolaimus (Nematoda) from local to ocean scale along continental slopes
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated the distribution of Molgolaimus species (Nematoda) at different hierarchical spatial scales and observed the turnover of species along bathymetrical transects and among transects in two separate geographical regions. Samples from six transects (200–2000 m) from the Southern Oceans (SO) and four bathymetric transects (50–2000 m) from the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) were compared. Of the 30 species recorded, only one was common to both regions. WIO had higher local species richness than the SO. In both regions, the local scale was the greatest contributor to the total species richness. In the SO, there was no difference between species turnover at the different spatial scales, however, in the WIO, the turnover along bathymetrical transects was higher than among separated transects. For the particular genus studied, the evidence suggests that the study area in WIO has more widespread species and was better sampled, while the SO has many restricted species and it is most probably characterized by different biogeographical provinces. At the ocean scale (i.e. WIO versus SO), evolutionary histories may have strongly influenced nematodes species composition, while at local and regional scales, ecological processes are probably promoting species co-existence and speciation. The high co-existence of certain species at local scale is partially explained by species preference for different sediment layers.