Meiofauna are small organisms ranging 30–500 μm in body size, inhabiting marine sediments and other substrata all over the world, even the most extreme ones. We can find many different meiofaunal species in a very small handful of sediment, with the most varied and curious shapes, that share peculiar lifestyles, ecological relationships, and evolutionary traits. They contribute significantly to the processes and functioning of marine ecosystems, thanks to their high abundance and taxonomical diversity, fast turnover and metabolic rates. Some meiofaunal taxa have also revealed their considerable utility in the evaluation of the ecological quality of coastal marine sediments in accordance with European Directives. Therefore, understanding the distribution patterns of their biodiversity and identifying the factors that control it at a global level and in different types of habitats is of great importance. Due to their very small morphological characteristics utilized for the taxonomical identification of these taxa, the suite of necessary skills in taxonomy, and the general taxonomic crisis, many young scientists have been discouraged to tackle meiofauna systematics. The papers collected in this book, however, bring together important themes on the biology, taxonomy, systematics, and ecology of meiofauna, thanks to the contribution of researchers from around the world from the USA, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, Italy, Belgium, France, Denmark, Russia, Kuwait, Vietnam, and South Korea. This was certainly an additional opportunity to build a more solid network among experts in this field and contribute to increasing the visibility of these tiny organisms. A special thanks to Prof. Wonchoel Lee for the wonderful taxonomic drawings of the species described in this volume that contribute to make our cover unique.

Meiofauna Biodiversity and Ecology

Sandulli Roberto
2020

Abstract

Meiofauna are small organisms ranging 30–500 μm in body size, inhabiting marine sediments and other substrata all over the world, even the most extreme ones. We can find many different meiofaunal species in a very small handful of sediment, with the most varied and curious shapes, that share peculiar lifestyles, ecological relationships, and evolutionary traits. They contribute significantly to the processes and functioning of marine ecosystems, thanks to their high abundance and taxonomical diversity, fast turnover and metabolic rates. Some meiofaunal taxa have also revealed their considerable utility in the evaluation of the ecological quality of coastal marine sediments in accordance with European Directives. Therefore, understanding the distribution patterns of their biodiversity and identifying the factors that control it at a global level and in different types of habitats is of great importance. Due to their very small morphological characteristics utilized for the taxonomical identification of these taxa, the suite of necessary skills in taxonomy, and the general taxonomic crisis, many young scientists have been discouraged to tackle meiofauna systematics. The papers collected in this book, however, bring together important themes on the biology, taxonomy, systematics, and ecology of meiofauna, thanks to the contribution of researchers from around the world from the USA, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, Italy, Belgium, France, Denmark, Russia, Kuwait, Vietnam, and South Korea. This was certainly an additional opportunity to build a more solid network among experts in this field and contribute to increasing the visibility of these tiny organisms. A special thanks to Prof. Wonchoel Lee for the wonderful taxonomic drawings of the species described in this volume that contribute to make our cover unique.
978-3-03943-133-5
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11367/87529
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