Perspectives in Meiobenthology: Reviews, Reflections and Conclusions

Perspectives in Meiobenthology: Reviews, Reflections and Conclusions

by Olav Giere
Perspectives in Meiobenthology: Reviews, Reflections and Conclusions

Perspectives in Meiobenthology: Reviews, Reflections and Conclusions

by Olav Giere

Paperback(1st ed. 2019)

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Although of high abundance, diversity and ecological importance, meiofauna is little covered by relevant scientific media. How can this negligence be overcome? The present treatise highlights promising meiofauna research fields, selected both from basic and applied science, as well as new methods that could strengthen the potential of meiobenthology. Selected recent meiofauna studies, often supported by rapidly advancing gene-based methods, underline the relevance and potential of meiobenthology revealing characteristics and harassments of ecosystems, not the least in extreme habitats. Also in the more classical domains such as taxonomy and phylogeny, progress in meiobenthos research defines a new and deeper scientific understanding.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783030139650
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 03/28/2019
Series: SpringerBriefs in Biology
Edition description: 1st ed. 2019
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

After his student years, Olav Giere investigated on sampling campaigns and student excursions the ecology of microscopic organisms living in the sediments of North Sea shores. Early on he studied in fieldwork and experiments the impact of disastrous oil spills on marine fauna. Interested in the multiple interactions of function and form of sediment fauna, he then focussed on the ecology and adaptations of animals living in low-oxygen/high-sulphide conditions. In many cases, meiofauna is adapted to these conditions occurring in shallow sites, at the deep-sea floor, and in subterranean waters. This lead Giere to research and teaching stays in different countries, but also to several deep-sea and cave expeditions. On Bermuda he discovered exotic gutless meiobenthic worms living in an obligate symbiosis with ‘sulphur bacteria’. These studies sparked new, far-reaching research fields on novel symbiotic pathways under unusual ecological conditions. Based on his comprehensive textbook Meiobenthology (2nd revised edition in 2009) – the science of microscopic, ubiquitous animals – the author now presents a summary and appraisal of the recent situation in this often neglected research field and works out recommendations for its scientifically successful future.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Fields of general relevance and broad public interest

a. New areas, novel communities, exotic biotopes

b. The deep-sea

c. Newly accessible polar regions

Chapter 2: Pollution and Meiofauna

a. Oil spills at the deep-sea bottom

b. Petroleum hydrocarbons in ground water aquifers

c. Water acidification and CO2-increase

d. Microplastics and plastic fibres

Chapter 3: Future ecological trends in meiobenthos research

a. Aspects of biodiversity

b. Principles of distribution, dispersal, and colonization

c. Organismic interactions – meiofauna between microbiota and macrofauna

Chapter 4: Physiology, biochemistry and meiofauna – a rarely touched realm

a. Hypoxia, anoxia and hydrogen sulfide – fields of physiological challenge

b. Temperature – a physiological driver

c. Fatty acids as biomarkers

d. Physiological reactions revealed by genetic analyses

Chapter 5: Towards and integrated triad – taxonomy, morphology, and phylogeny

a. Advances in the methodological basis

b. New trends reviving ‘old morphology’

c. Phylogeny and evolution – meiofauna at the beginning


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