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Seasonal Changes of Surface-Active Beach Invertebrate Assemblages in Southern Central Victoria, Australia

Version 2 2024-06-03, 03:42
Version 1 2024-04-08, 04:29
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 03:42 authored by DL Surdo, Mike WestonMike Weston, Anthony RendallAnthony Rendall, Nicholas PorchNicholas Porch
AbstractInvertebrates play a critical role in beach ecosystems, and seasonal variation in their occurrence and abundance likely influences food webs. We examine and characterise seasonal patterns in invertebrate activity on a temperate, southern sandy dune and beach ecosystem at Venus Bay, Victoria, Australia. We index invertebrate abundance, diversity and assemblage composition at fixed-site pitfall traps which were deployed in four transects from the lower dunes to the beach. Seasonal differences occurred in assemblage composition (foredunes only), richness and abundance. Insects dominated assemblages in summer, spring and autumn; crustaceans dominated winter assemblages. Morphospecies richness was lowest in winter (139% higher in summer and 169% higher in autumn). Our results contrast with other studies from temperate beaches in that (1) richness was higher on beaches compared to in foredunes across all seasons and (2) abundance differed significantly such that winter abundance was higher than for all other seasons. Possible explanations include the exposed nature of the study foredunes, marine ecological subsides in the form of beach wrack in winter and/or between-site variations in such factors. Further studies would usefully examine between-beach variation in seasonality in invertebrate activity in foredunes and dunes.



Estuaries and Coasts


Berlin, Germany







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal