Distribution patterns of benthic bacteria and nematode communities in estuarine sediments

Soraia Vieira, Kasia Sroczyńska, Joana Neves, Marta Martins, Maria Helena Costa, Helena Adão, Cláudia S. L. Vicente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Benthic organisms are crucial in the regulation of the ecosystem functions. The interactions between benthic nematodes and sediment bacteria across divergent environmental conditions are poorly understood. The main goal of this study was to understand the spatial distribution patterns and diversity of benthic bacterial communities and nematode assemblages of the intertidal sediments in three sampling sites (Navigator, Tróia and Moinho) along Sado Estuary (SW, Portugal). Bacterial communities were described using a 16S metagenomic approach, while nematode assemblages were characterized using morphological identification. Overall, bacterial and nematode communities presented significant diversity between sites (p < 0.05), which is primarily related with the environmental variables (e.g., organic matter and percentage of gravel). The spatial distribution of bacterial communities was in accordance with the ecological conditions of three selected sites at a larger scale than nematode assemblages. Previously described as good ecological indicators, nematode assemblages were separated at sampling site level, suggesting that their response is driven by within site specific factors at a smaller scale. Hence, the present study set a fundamental ground for future research on functional interactions between bacteria and nematodes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108448
Number of pages10
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2023


  • 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing
  • Bacterial communities
  • Benthic nematodes
  • Sado estuary


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