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Patterns of active vertical migration exhibited by sediment-associated meiofauna were examlned in a subtropical seagrass meadow. Total numbers, species composition and percentage of sediment meiofauna found to migrate were examined during two 24 h studies. Large numbers (>20,000 h-1 m-2) of harpacticoid copepods representing a substantial proportion (>50 %) of the total benthic harpacticoid community migrated from the sediment into the water column. Nineteen of 36 harpacticoid species identified migrated actively. Migration was greatest during nighttime. Results indicate the importance of vertical migration to benthic-pelagic interactions in shallow seagrass environments.

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Marine Ecology - Progress Series, v. 34, p. 95-103

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