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Food and food uptake in Arenicola marina
Rijken, M. (1979). Food and food uptake in Arenicola marina. Neth. J. Sea Res. 13(3-4): 406-421
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Rijken, M.

    Marking with glass spheres, showed the lugworm to live over large tidal flat areas in J-shaped tubes of which the blind end is connected with the funnel in the sediment surface by means of a perpendicular sediment (quick-sand) column of only ca 5 mm wide and 10 to 20 cm long. When the worm ingests the sediment at the lower end of the column, the surface sediment of the funnel will reach the worm in only a few hours because of this small diameter of the column. In this way the worm utilizes the nutrient-rich material from the uppermost surface layers. A different feeding behaviour of the lugworm appeared in the laboratory where in an indoor tidal flat homogeneous rich sediment was present. No funnels occurred in this situation; the animals ingest the sediment present at living depth. Feeding experiments showed good growth in Arenicola marina on sediments with an addition of benthic diatoms or bacteria. Both food items are really digested; the latter perhaps more effectively. Dead and minced Ulva lactuca, as an artificial detritus, showed a poor utilization. On sediments with this detritus the faeces production of the lugworms was poor, hut increased when mineralization of the material started. Highest growth was observed with a rich sediment, collected from the surface of a natural tidal mud flat.

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