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The functional group approach to bioturbation: The effects of biodiffusers and gallery-diffusers of the Macoma balthica community on sediment oxygen uptake

, : The functional group approach to bioturbation: The effects of biodiffusers and gallery-diffusers of the Macoma balthica community on sediment oxygen uptake. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 326(1): 77-88

The Macoma balthica community, which is widely distributed in intertidal soft sediments bordering the north Atlantic, is dominated by two functional groups with different sediment mixing modes: the biodiffusers M. balthica and Mya arenaria and the gallery-diffuser Nereis virens. To compare the effects of these two groups on sediment oxygen uptake rates, we used experimental microcosms with identical biovolumes to measure the influence of each species on oxygen uptake. The two biodiffusers had similar effects on oxygen uptake in spite of different space occupation and different feeding, ventilation and burrowing modes. Biodiffusers and gallery-diffusers had different effects on oxygen uptake. Periodic ventilation by the gallery diffusers stimulated the oxygen uptake by the sediment more than the steady activities of the biodiffusers. Temporal variation in oxygen fluxes in bioturbated microcosms was linked to construction and maintenance of biogenic structures. The results confirm that the functional group approach to bioturbation is a useful tool for quantifying the effects of intertidal benthic communities on benthic fluxes.


DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2005.05.016

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