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Factors in the distribution of intertidal estuarine polychaetes: a field experiment with Nereis (Hediste diversicolor and Nephtys hombergi in the Tamar at Plymouth
Davey, J.T.; George, C.L. (1986). Factors in the distribution of intertidal estuarine polychaetes: a field experiment with Nereis (Hediste diversicolor and Nephtys hombergi in the Tamar at Plymouth. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 22: 603-618
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Competition; Distribution; Enclosures; Estuaries; Mud flats; Polychaeta [WoRMS]; ANE, British Isles, England, English Coast [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Davey, J.T.
  • George, C.L.

Abstract
    A field experiment was conducted over 10 weeks from July to mid-September, 1984, on a mudflat in the lower reaches of the Tamar Estuary at Plymouth, to test the relative importance of environmental factors and species interactions in controlling the distribution of two polychaete species. Nereis (Hediste) diversicolor from an upper shore site were transplanted into a lower shore site nearby which was characterized by the presence of Nephtys hombergi. 65-71% of N. diversicolor which were transplanted in their own sediments, with no contact with N. hombergi, survived the experimental period. The appearance of some small stages of N. diversicolor in these treatments was attributed in part to recruitment from the overlying water. N. diversicolor transplanted directly into N. hombergi-sediment survived in inverse proportion to their numbers and only the lowest densities (equivalent to 480 m−2) survived as well as those in their own sediment. Given the choice to invade the other species' sediment, more N. hombergi than N. diversicolor finally made the change, and there was some evidence that the smallest N. diversicolor suffered predation in consequence. Otherwise there was little evidence for inter-species interaction. There appeared to be some disruption of oocyte maturation of the N. diversicolor which may have been due to changes in tidal rhythm and salinity at the experimental site.

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