An approach to quantify the benthic Meio-and Macrofauna
in the region of Dahab City/Red Sea

Abstract
The environment of Dahab City at the Red Sea is a good example for marine biodiversity. The following project is an attempt to quantify the benthic meio-and macrofauna in this area. Samples of animals living in this habitat were taken at 5 different shallow dive sites in the close distance of Dahab City. First of all, around 100 different species were collected and identified. This gave an overview about the biodiversity in the studied habitat. The second aim was to distinguish between the different substrates at the sides which reach from fine sand at the nearby ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘El Kura’ to coarser rock at ‘Umm Sid’ to very coarse pebble ground at ‘Golden Blocks’. So a closer look was taken on the distribution of  benthic organisms to the substrate to find out their preferences.
The results show a bias to pebble sediment in crustacea and echinodermata, while tunicata, gastropoda and bivalves prefer a fine sand sediment… 
  
1. Introduction
The region of Dahab City is situated at the eastern side of the Sinai Peninsula and has direct access to the Golf of Aqaba which is a part of the Red Sea. The whole area has a large marine biodiversity, especially in the benthic meio-and macrofauna, which are the habitats studied in this project. In the time span from the 24th to the 27th September 2007 a sampling at 5 shallow dive sites was undertaken to identify and quantify the families and species living in this habitat and their preferences to different substrates.
The term meiofauna includes all organisms in the size range between 45 and 500 µm in diameter. All organisms larger than 500 µm (300 µm to include more immaturate stages) belong to the macrofauna. (Valiela, 1995). The term ‘benthic’ refers to a life on the ground of the sea. Epifaunal means the living on the substrate, while infaunal defines life in the substrate, normally buried.

 

Meiobenthos

Meiobenthos

Meiobenthos