|Comparison of the ecological energetics of the polychaetes Capitella capitata and Nereis succina in experimental systems receiving similar levels of detritus|
Tenore, K.R. (1982). Comparison of the ecological energetics of the polychaetes Capitella capitata and Nereis succina in experimental systems receiving similar levels of detritus. Neth. J. Sea Res. 16: 46-54
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
The ecological energetics, including specific growth rate, population production and trophic transfer, was measured for the polychaetes Capitella capitata and Nereis succinea in laboratory systems receiving similar detritus food rations ( 1500 mg C .m-2 .d-1) .The opportunistic Capitella species more effectively exploited the available food because of a higher specific growth rate and a higher population density. The metabolic cost was high (production: respiration 0.66, versus 2.50 for Nereis), but a greater proportion of the available detritus went into production in Capitella ( trophic transfer efficiency is the ratio between worm production and food supplied; 27% for Capitella and 3% for Nereis). Opportunistic species such as Capitella capitata can exploit high organic conditions as in these laboratory growth studies. They effectively exploit not only by fast population increase when food levels increase, but also by achieving high population densities. The more typical, larger, benthic deposit feeders, such as Nereis succinea, not only have a slower population response to increasing food, but behavioural interactions due to crowding (i.e., increased mortality) may limit population density to levels that do not maximally exploit available food.