DISTRIBUTION OF POLYCHAETES FEEDING GUILDS ON SEDIMENT COLUMN AT MARTEL INLET, ADMIRALTY BAY, ANTARCTICA.
Keywords:Benthos, Antarctica, distribution, polychaetes, feeding guilds
Studies concerning patterns of vertical stratification of macrofauna in Antarctic ecosystems are uncommon. In this paper, it was assessed the vertical distribution of polychaetes feeding guilds in Martel Inlet, Admiralty Bay in three depths: 20, 30 and 60m in five strata of two cm each up to 10cm of sedimentary column. The pattern of sedimentary variation was significant only for depth, with more fine sand and less clay amount in shallower depths (20m). Among the feeding guilds, deposit feeders were the only group that presented any relation with sedimentary variables, with higher densities in fine sand, besides a bathymetric pattern with higher densities at 20m. Discretely mobile and sessile forms also presented a noticeable bathymetric variation being the sessiles more abundant at 20m. The only guild that presented vertical stratification was discretely mobile, with decreased in number along the sedimentary column.