The present study analyses the spatio-temporal variability of the macrozoobenthos from the intertidal zone of the Kneiss Islands (Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia). Samples were collected once from 34 stations, while seasonal variations were studied by sampling four times at 12 stations over the period 2013-2014. A total of 159 macrobenthos taxa associated with intertidal Zostera noltei beds are identified from the 34 stations, with a taxonomic dominance of crustaceans (32%), molluscs (29%) and annelids (27%). Abundance varies from 9244 to 36,844 ind·m−2 with a mean value of 14,346 ind·m−2. Analysis of the trophic structure shows that the majority of stations are strongly represented by carnivores (41%), followed by the non-selective deposit feeders (16%). Cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling allow identification of three main benthic assemblages based on species abundance, corresponding to different sediment types and organic matter contents. The seasonal variability in abundance, diversity and community structure is mainly due to spring and summer recruitment. The biotic indices (i.e. AMBI, BO2A and BENTIX) show that the intertidal area of Kneiss Islands exhibits a good ecological status.
Mosbahi, N., Pezy, J.-P., Dauvin, J.-C., & Neifar, L. (2016). Spatial and Temporal Structures of the Macrozoobenthos from the Intertidal Zone of the Kneiss Islands (Central Mediterranean Sea). Open Journal of Marine Science, 06(02), 223–237. https://doi.org/10.4236/ojms.2016.62018