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The influence of four macrozoobenthic species on the abundance of the amphipod Corophium volutator on tidal flats of the Wadden Sea
Flach, E.C. (1992). The influence of four macrozoobenthic species on the abundance of the amphipod Corophium volutator on tidal flats of the Wadden Sea. Neth. J. Sea Res. 29(4): 379-394
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
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Keyword
    Marine

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Abstract
    On the tidal flats of the Wadden Sea, a zonation pattern can be found with Corophium volutator and Nereis diversicolor as the dominating species of the upper intertidal zone and Arenicola marina and Cerastoderma edule as the dominating species of the lower zone. As C. volutator can live under a great variety of physical conditions, its restriction to higher areas might result from biotic interactions. This was investigated by field experiments on a tidal flat in the westernmost part of the Wadden Sea. Within large depopulated areas, small plots were recolonized with different densities of N. diversicolor, A. marina, C. edule and Macoma balthica and the subsequent settlement and dynamics of C. volutator were studied. In addition, A. marina and/or C. edule were added to or removed from small plots within a natural benthic community. Neither the presence of M. balthica nor that of N. diversicolor significantly affected the abundance of C. volutator. A strongly negative effect was found of C. edule when present in high densities, whereas A. marina negatively affected C. volutator abundance already at relatively low densities. Local removals of A. marina and C. edule from their own zone resulted in increases of Corophium numbers at these locations and local additions of these species within the Corophium zone resulted in decreases of Corophium numbers at these locations. It is suggested that the major species to restrict C. volutator effectively to the upper tidal zone is A. marina.

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