Macroinfauna and human disturbance in a sandy beach ...



Title Macroinfauna and human disturbance in a sandy beach of South-Central Chile
Author(s) E. Jaramillo, H. Contreras, Pedro A. Quijon
Journal Revista Chilena De Historia Natural
Date 1996
Volume 69
Issue 4
Start page 655
End page 663
Abstract The effect of recreational bench users on the abundance of the intertidal macroinfauna was studied on a sandy beach of southcentral Chile (ca. 39 degrees S) during the summer of 1992. A field experiment was conducted over a period of about two months. A fence was installed in the middle of the beach the early morning of January 22; thus, the beach was divided into a north side to which beach users were denied access and an accessible south side. The statistical analyses (BACI design with non-parametric Mann-Whitney U-test) was based upon the differences in macroinfaunal abundances on both sides of the fence, before and after it was installed. The results did not show any significant effect of human exclusion on the macroinfaunal abundances. In the majority of cases, no significant differences in physical characteristics of sands occupied by the species on either side of the fence were detected. We conclude that presence of recreational beach users did not produce significant effect on the macroinfauna during the summer of 1992. We argue that this kind of experimental approach is a useful tool in the design of management plans for sandy beaches affected by recreational pressures.

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