We analysed the distribution of soft bottom sipunculansfrom San Pedro del Pinatar (Western Mediterranean). This study was carried out from December 2005 to June 2010, sampling with biannual periodicity (June and December). Physical and chemical parameters of the sediment were analysed (granulometry, organic matter content, pH, bottom salinity and shelter availability). Nine different species and subspecies were identified, belonging to five families. Aspidosiphon muelleri muelleri was the dominant species, accumulating 89.06% of the total abundance of sipunculans. Higher sipunculan abundances were correlated with stations of higher percentage of coarse sand, empty mollusc shells and empty tubes of the serpulid polychaete Ditrupa arietina, where some of the recorded species live. Sediment characteristics played the main role controlling the sipunculans distribution. Anthropogenic impacts could be indirectly affecting their distribution, changing the sediment characteristics.
Sipuncula, Aspidosiphon muelleri, Mediterranean, Anthropogenic impact, Soft-bottom
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