Leasi, Francesca, Gaynus, Camille, Mahardini, Angka, Moore, Tiara N., Norenburg, Jon L. and Barber, Paul H.
Biodiversity estimations, particularly in vulnerable tropical regions, are essential to understanding ecosystem structure, function and conservation. While threats to marine and terrestrial ecosystems have fueled increased interest in biodiversity research, information on meiofauna, a key trophic and ecologic community of microscopic organisms that lives within sediments, is still lacking. Here we report the results of a faunistic investigation conducted in Bali, Indonesia. The results reveal that the biodiversity of marine meiofauna in Bali is very high. Meiofauna from coral reefs, sand flats and seagrass beds differed significantly in abundance and diversity. Nonetheless, overall community compositions show that meiofauna communities are affected by environmental variables. The high meiofaunal diversity observed in Bali, a low diversity region of the Coral Triangle, indicates the importance of further meiofaunal research across this region and across a broader diversity of habitats. The data presented provide an important baseline for future studies on biodiversity conservation in the face of environmental changes due to anthropogenic impacts and/or natural events.