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meiofauna

/ˈmaɪəʊˌfɔːnə/
noun
1.
the component of the fauna of a sea or lake bed comprising small (but not microscopic) animals, such as tiny worms and crustaceans
Derived Forms
meiofaunal, adjective
Word Origin
C20: from Greek meiōn less + fauna
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for meiofauna

in soil science, intermediate-sized animals (those greater than 40 microns in length, which is about three times the thickness of a human hair). Nematodes, mites, springtails, proturans, and pauropods are typical members of the mesofauna. These animals may feed upon microorganisms, other soil animals, decaying plant or animal material, living plants, or fungi. Most mesofauna feed on decaying plant material; by removing roots they open drainage and aeration channels in the soil. The channels contain mesofaunal fecal material that can be broken down by smaller organisms

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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