Effects of mud sedimentation on lugworm ecosystem engineering

F. Montserrat, W. Suykerbuyk, R. Al-Busaidi, T. J. Bouma, D. van der Wal, P. M.J. Herman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Benthic ecosystem engineering organisms attenuate hydrodynamic or biogeochemical stress to ameliorate living conditions. Bioturbating infauna, like the lugworm Arenicola marina, determine intertidal process dynamics by maintaining the sediment oxygenated and sandy. Maintaining the permeability of the surrounding sediment enables them to pump water through the interstitial spaces, greatly increasing the oxygen availability. In a field experiment, both lugworm presence and siltation regime were manipulated to investigate to what extent lugworms are able to cope with sedimentation of increasing mud percentage and how this would affect its ecosystem engineering. Fluorescent tracers were added to experimentally deposited mud to visualise bioturbation effects on fine sediment fractions. Lugworm densities were not affected by an increasing mud percentage in experimentally deposited sediment. Negative effects are expected to occur under deposition with significantly higher mud percentages. Surface chlorophyll a content was a function of experimental mud percentage, with no effect of lugworm bioturbation. Surface roughness and sediment permeability clearly increased by lugworm presence, whereas sediment erosion threshold was not significantly affected by lugworms. The general idea that A. marina removes fine sediment fractions from the bed could not be confirmed. Rather, the main ecosystem engineering effect of A. marina is hydraulic destabilisation of the sediment matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-181
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of sea research
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

ecosystem engineering
mud
sedimentation
sediments
sediment
marina
bioturbation
permeability
siltation
effect
surface roughness
pumps
hydrodynamics
tracer techniques
chlorophyll a
fluid mechanics
tracer
hydraulics
erosion
chlorophyll

Keywords

  • Arenicola Marina
  • Bioturbation
  • Ecosystem Engineering
  • Intertidal
  • Luminophores
  • Sediment Destabilisation
  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE

Cite this

Montserrat, F., Suykerbuyk, W., Al-Busaidi, R., Bouma, T. J., van der Wal, D., & Herman, P. M. J. (2011). Effects of mud sedimentation on lugworm ecosystem engineering. Journal of sea research, 65(1), 170-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2010.09.003
Montserrat, F. ; Suykerbuyk, W. ; Al-Busaidi, R. ; Bouma, T. J. ; van der Wal, D. ; Herman, P. M.J. / Effects of mud sedimentation on lugworm ecosystem engineering. In: Journal of sea research. 2011 ; Vol. 65, No. 1. pp. 170-181.
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Montserrat, F, Suykerbuyk, W, Al-Busaidi, R, Bouma, TJ, van der Wal, D & Herman, PMJ 2011, 'Effects of mud sedimentation on lugworm ecosystem engineering' Journal of sea research, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 170-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2010.09.003

Effects of mud sedimentation on lugworm ecosystem engineering. / Montserrat, F.; Suykerbuyk, W.; Al-Busaidi, R.; Bouma, T. J.; van der Wal, D.; Herman, P. M.J.

In: Journal of sea research, Vol. 65, No. 1, 01.01.2011, p. 170-181.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Montserrat, F.

AU - Suykerbuyk, W.

AU - Al-Busaidi, R.

AU - Bouma, T. J.

AU - van der Wal, D.

AU - Herman, P. M.J.

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