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International Journal of Biodiversity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 187659, 9 pages
Research Article

Marine Nematodes from the Shallow Subtidal Coast of the Adriatic Sea: Species List and Distribution

Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, della Vita e dell'Ambiente (DiSTEVA), Università degli Studi di Urbino “Carlo Bo”, Località Crocicchia, 61029 Urbino, Italy

Received 14 September 2012; Revised 27 November 2012; Accepted 27 November 2012

Academic Editor: Rafael Riosmena-Rodríguez

Copyright © 2013 F. Semprucci. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study is the first attempt aiming to assess the composition and number of free-living marine nematode species on the coasts of the Marches region, Italy. A high number of putative species of nematodes were recognized (84), these belonging to 52 genera in 22 families. Fifty-one taxa have been identified to the species level increasing the number of known nematode species for the Adriatic Sea from 283 to 310 and for the Mediterranean Sea from 700 to 723. The highest diversity and abundance were registered for the nematode families typically of intertidal zones characterized as medium-fine sands. The majority of the species found in the present study are known to occur in the North European coasts or the North Atlantic Sea, the best known regions for nematode distribution. Inferences on the biogeography of marine nematodes are preliminary since most Biodiversity literature concerning the Mediterranean of the basin is very out of date. Considering the great importance of nematodes in the assessment of ecosystem health conditions, an intensification of sampling efforts should be pursued in other regions in order to improve our current knowledge of the distribution pattern of marine nematode species as well as clarify their biogeographical patterns.