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Influence of bioturbation by three benthic infaunal species on microbial communities and biogeochemical processes in marine sediment

Journal article
Authors F. Mermillod-Blondin
Rutger Rosenberg
F. Francois-Carcaillet
Karl Norling
L. Mauclaire
Published in Aquatic Microbial Ecology
Volume 36
Issue 3
Pages 271-284
ISSN 0948-3055
Publication year 2004
Published at Department of Marine Ecology
Pages 271-284
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.3354/ame036271
Keywords Nereis diversicolor, Corophium volutator, Cerastoderma edule, functional groups, bioturbation, microbial activity, organic matter, processing, POLYCHAETE NEREIS-DIVERSICOLOR, IN-SITU HYBRIDIZATION, AMPHIPOD, COROPHIUM-VOLUTATOR, INORGANIC NITROGEN EXCHANGE, ORGANIC-MATTER, ESTUARINE SEDIMENTS, COASTAL SEDIMENTS, ARENICOLA-MARINA, WESTERN, SWEDEN, SHALLOW WATERS
Subject categories Ecology

Abstract

Benthic invertebrates play a key role in the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the marine water-sediment interface. The influences of invertebrates on biogeochemical processes have mainly been attributed to their sediment reworking and bioirrigation activities. The aim of this study was to compare the influences of bioturbation activities by 3 dominant species of shallow water habitats (Cerastoderma. edule, Corophium volutator, and Nereis diversicolor) on microbial communities and biogeochemical processes in sediment cores. C. edule acted as a biodiffuser, mixing surface particles in the top 2 cm of the sediment. Despite this mixing activity, this species had little effect on O-2 consumption, water exchange between the water column and the sediment, microbial characteristics, and release of nutrients from the sediment, In contrast, C. Volutator and N. diversicolor produced burrows in the sediment that allowed transport of surface particles into biogenic structures. These 2 species doubled the solute exchange between the water column and the sediment, Such modifications of sediment structure and solute transport increased the O-2 consumption and the release of nutrients from the sediment. Both C. volutator and N. diversicolor stimulated the microbial communities as indicated by higher percentages of active bacteria. Reduction of the numbers of sulphate reducing bacteria was observed when the 3 invertebrates were present and could be attributed to the penetration of O-2 due to animal activities. N. diversicolor had a greater influence than C. volutator on pore water chemistry, ammonium release, and active bacteria. As N. diversicolor burrowed deeper in the sediment than C. volutator, it irrigated a greater volume of sediment. The modes of sediment reworking and structure building, irrigation behaviour, and burrowing depths were factors sufficient to assign the 3 species into different functional groups.

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