The use of meiofaunal assemblages for the detection and quantification of perturbation of the marine environment by man is examined. The theoretical and practical advantages and drawbacks of meiofaunal monitoring are described and different methods of impact assessment described and evaluated. It is suggested that identification of meiofaunal material need not present a major obstacle to its use, as sensitive responses of meiofaunal assemblages to pollution can be recorded without the necessity for specific identifications. It is concluded that the great sensitivity to pollution of some meiofaunal groups (particularly copepods) offers the potential for better estimation of the real extent of pollution impact than is being achieved by sole reliance on examination of the macrofaunal assemblage. Meiofaunal monitoring should also be considered where there is difficulty in adequate sampling of the macrofauna, due to impoverishment or practical difficulties. © 1989.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1989|