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Effects of the sea urchin Echinocardium cordatum on bacterial production and carbon flow in experimental benthic systems under increasing organic loading
Osinga, R.; Kop, A.J.; Malschaert, J.F.P.; van Duyl, F.C. (1997). Effects of the sea urchin Echinocardium cordatum on bacterial production and carbon flow in experimental benthic systems under increasing organic loading. J. Sea Res. 37(1-2): 109-121
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Osinga, R.
  • Kop, A.J.
  • Malschaert, J.F.P.
  • van Duyl, F.C.

Abstract
    Effects of the sea urchin Echinocardium cordatum on benthic bacterial production were studied in marine sediment boxcosms, to which different amounts of organic matter (30, 60 and 90g C m-2) were added. Bacterial production was estimated from incorporation rates of 3H-labelled leucine. The distribution of organic carbon in the boxcosm sediments was monitored. Measurements were done over a period of 27 days after the introduction of organic matter. Non-enriched boxcosms were used as controls. In macrobenthos-free boxcosms, the bacterial response to organic-matter additions mainly took place in the organic-matter layer on the sediment surface and in the upper 3 mm of the sediment. In the presence of E. cordatum, more organic matter was transported into the sediment, and the bacterial production rates in deeper sediment layers were higher. Increasing the organic loading did not further enhance these rates. It is concluded that E. cordatum stimulates bacterial production in deeper sediment layers by increasing the transport of organic matter into the sediment and perhaps also by promoting its degradation. At an increasing load with organic matter, the relative importance of the effects of E. cordatum decreases.

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