Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Diane R. Nelson

Committee Members

Dan M. Johnson, Darrell J. Moore


At Huntington Beach, SC meiofauna distribution was investigated. The purpose of the study was to determine tardigrade species present and any significant differences in the distribution pattern. Meiofauna were analyzed to determine if there were significant differences in their distribution patterns in relation to abiotic variables.

Cores were taken in the intertidal zone along three elevations. Each core was divided into depth samples and was processed to remove meiofauna. Each taxon (>1500 specimens) and tardigrades was statistically analyzed using three-way ANOVA to compare distribution patterns.

There were eighteen taxa identified and an estimated 330,338 specimens. The seven dominant taxa were Nematoda, Copepoda, Oligochaeta, Mystacocarida, Sarcomastigophora, Halacaroidea, and Turbellaria. The community and each taxon demonstrated one or more significant differences in their distribution pattern.

Tardigrada had 326 specimens collected and 300 identified to species in five genera. Elevation was a source of significant variation for tardigrades.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.