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Impact of tail-nipping on mortality, growth and reproduction of Arenicola marina
Bergman, M.J.N.; van der Veer, H.W.; Karczmarski, L. (1988). Impact of tail-nipping on mortality, growth and reproduction of Arenicola marina. Neth. J. Sea Res. 22(1): 83-90
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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  • Bergman, M.J.N.
  • van der Veer, H.W.
  • Karczmarski, L.

    The impact of predation by amputation of regenerating body parts (tail tips) of the lugworm Arenicola marina on species mortality, growth and reproduction has been studied under laboratory conditions by the artificial removal of tail tips at different frequencies. The loss of body weight by amputation was not compensated for by an increased growth. Within a wide range of amputation frequencies, total growth (body growth + amount of tail tip amputated) and reproduction of the lugworm were not affected. Also, both egg development and amount of energy stored in reproduction remained the same. Only at the highest frequency of amputation (once a week) did total growth decrease in the course of time, resulting even in a loss of body weight. The amount of energy stored in reproduction was also significantly less at the highest rate of amputation. Lugworms appeared to be unable to sustain this high level of amputation and the anaerobic sediment conditions in the cuvettes suggest a reduced pumping activity and food intake. Mortality in this group was also higher than in the other groups. The consequences of tail-nipping by flatfish for A. marina in the field situation are discussed.

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