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Changes in benthic community structure are strongly related to environmental factors, and we need to determine how these natural changes occur in order to interpret the possible changes associated with anthropogenic impacts. The aim of this survey was to characterize and classify the polychaete assemblages inhabiting unpolluted soft bottoms in the Spanish Mediterranean in relation to environmental factors. Thirteen localities were sampled at depths between 9 and 31 m, from 2004 to 2006. Multivariate techniques showed that the structure of polychaete assemblages detected in 2004 was consistent over time and correlations between polychaetes and environmental factors were detected. The study area comprises four kinds of communities mainly characterized by polychaete assemblages, sediment types, and depth.
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