Meiobenthic And Nematode biodiversity: Unraveling Ecological and Latitudinal Aspects


Completed: November 2005 - December 2008

1. Describe the objectives of the RMP as clearly as possible in a numbered list:
2. To assess large-scale meiobenthic biodiversity patterns in European marine waters
3. To identify the structuring factors of meiobenthic assemblages on a large geographical scale vs. the importance of locally varying variables within habitat type or limited geographical area
4. To assess the role of anthropogenic drivers (e.g. various types of disturbance) for differences in large-scale meiobenthic distribution patterns
5. To test the performance of functional attributes of nematode assemblages in assessing the potential effects of anthropogenic and natural disturbances on benthic systems
6. To gain insight in meiobenthic species assembly rules to increase the understanding of the high diversity within meiofaunal taxa
7. To assess the “universal response” of meiobenthos to physical or chemical disturbances by integrating completed and ongoing experimental research at the partner institutes.
8. To design and execute collaborative experiments to link meiobenthic activities to ecosystem processes.
9. To set up an integrated identification support tool for European nematode species
10. To share methods on meiobenthic research within the MarBEF community by organising a training workshop on sampling and processing methodology
11. To increase the public awareness of the diversity and functioning of the meiobenthos in European marine environments

Description of work
Task 1. Data Collection, Integration and Management.
Task 2. Spatial and temporal patterns in European marine meiobenthos
Task 3. Taxonomic basis of meiobentic biodiversity
Task 4. Linking ecosystem processes with meiobenthic activities
Task 5. Outreach