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Field experiments on the role of epibenthic predators in determining prey densities in an estuarine mudflat
Gee, J.M.; Warwick, R.M.; Davey, J.T.; George, C.L. (1985). Field experiments on the role of epibenthic predators in determining prey densities in an estuarine mudflat. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 21: 429-448
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Manayunkia aestuarina (Bourne, 1883) [WoRMS]; Pomatoschistus microps (Krøyer, 1838) [WoRMS]; Pomatoschistus microps (Krøyer, 1838) [WoRMS]; Marine; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Gee, J.M.
  • Warwick, R.M., more
  • Davey, J.T.
  • George, C.L.

Abstract
    A series of caging experiments was performed on an estuarine mudflat at three seasons of the year, in which Carcinus maenas L. and Pomatoschistus microps (Kroyer) were either excluded from, or allowed to prey upon, the benthos in order to determine to what extent infaunal abundance and mortality was a result of predation by epibenthic predators. The benthic macrofauna of this mudflat is dominated numerically by small annelids and there is evidence that adult C. Maenas can cause significant increases in the oligochaete component of this assemblage. Juvenile C. Maenas on the other hand significantly reduced the abundance of small annelids, particularly the dominant polychaete Manayunkia aestuarina (Bourne) and could be responsible for year-to-year variations in abundance of this species. The role of fish predators (in this case P. Microps) is more porblematical.

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