Alternate Title

Meiofauna and Trace Metals From Sediment Collections in Florida After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill


Sediment from the Florida Gulf continental shelf was collected from 18 sites during October and November 2010 for meiofauna and trace-metals analysis. Collections were obtained using a Shipek® grab on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship Pisces and spanned from the head of the DeSoto Canyon to off the southern end of the Florida peninsula approximately following the 100–200-m contour. Mean abundance of the dominant meiofaunal groups (nematodes, copepods, and polychaetes) was unchanged when compared with 2007–2009 data. Nematodes and copepods correlated positively with each other, and negatively with latitude and longitude, suggesting that there were higher densities in southern Florida. These results contrast with those from 2007–2009 in that previously nematodes had no correlation with latitude or longitude in Florida. Nickel (Ni) and vanadium (V) concentrations were higher in the western Florida locations and correlated positively with increasing depth. No relationship was found between Ni, V, and meiofauna densities.