Meiobenthic nematodes in the assessment of the relative impact of human activities on coastal marine ecosystem

Jung Ho Hong, Federica Semprucci, Raehyuk Jeong, Kichoon Kim, Seunghan Lee, Donggu Jeon, Hyunsu Yoo, Jungho Kim, Jaehyun Kim, Jisu Yeom, Somin Lee, Kanghyun Lee, Wonchoel Lee

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Ecological quality (EcoQ) status of the Southwest and West coasts of South Korea was evaluated within the “National Investigation of Marine Ecosystems in Korea” in the 2015. In particular, the study dealt to assess the ecological quality of the sediments using free-living nematode communities. A total of 149 species were found in the study area, and Daptonema, Sabatieria, Parodontophora, Sphaerolaimus, and Viscosia were found as dominant genera. Statistical analysis of both environmental and faunal parameters showed an increasing human pressure from Western to Southern coasts. The community structure changed with the environmental features of the study area and allowed the detection of a suite of possible nematode indicators that might be used in monitoring studies. In particular, Dorylaimopsis spp. appeared heavy metal and organic matter resistant taxa, Sabatieria an eutrophication resistant genus, while Paracanthonchus and Neotonchus as heavy metal and organic matter sensitive genera. The principal component analysis (PCA) results showed a clear negative correlation between maturity index and both heavy metal and organic matter increasing, while diversity indices did not appear to be significantly influenced by them. Appling the thresholds of the synthetic nematode indices, the EcoQ of the study area was assessed as poor to moderate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020 Feb 1


  • Benthic bioindicators
  • Coastal management
  • Korea
  • Meiobenthos
  • Nematode composition


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