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Effect of the brown shrimp Crangon crangon L. on endobenthic macrofauna, meiofauna and meiofaunal grazing rates
Nilsson, P.; Sundbäck, K.; Jönsson, B. (1993). Effect of the brown shrimp Crangon crangon L. on endobenthic macrofauna, meiofauna and meiofaunal grazing rates. Neth. J. Sea Res. 31(1): 95-106
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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  • Nilsson, P.
  • Sundbäck, K.
  • Jönsson, B.

    The effect of natural densities (50 and 100 ind·m-2) of juvenile (<20 mm) Crangon crangon on abundance of endobenthic macrofauna and meiofauna and on meiofaunal grazing rates was investigated in two experiments using an outdoor flow-through system with sandy sediment. The experiments differed in duration (3 wk and 7.5 wk), and in time of the year (August -September and July -August). Macrofaunal biomass differed by a factor of 10 between the experiments, and was depressed by shrimp in both experiments. Neither total meiofaunal biomass, nor the biomass of the dominant taxon (nematodes), was significantly affected by the presence of Crangon in the shorter experiment. However, harpacticoid copepods and other meiofauna taxa (mainly ostracods, Foraminiferans and juvenile bivalves) decreased in the presence of Crangon. In the longer experiment, no significant effect of Crangon on meiofauna was seen, and the biomass of most meiofaunal groups increased in all treatments. Meiofaunal grazing rates on microalgae and bacteria, measured with a dual-labelling method, using 14C-bicarbonate and [methyl-3H]-thymidine as tracers, were 0.7 to 4.7% of algal biomass per day, and 0.8 to 7.9% of bacterial biomass per day. Generally, grazing rates were lower in the presence than in the absence of Crangon. In terms of carbon ingested, microalgae constituted a more important food source than bacteria for all three meiofaunal groups (nematodes, harpacticoids and other meiofauna). No individual growth of Crangon was found in the high-density treatment in the longer experiment, suggesting that intraspecific competition occurred. The difference between the two experiments in the effect of Crangon on meiofauna is thought to be caused by the large difference in macrofaunal biomass between the experiments; the shrimp ate mainly juvenile macrofauna in the longer experiment. Overall, the effect of Crangon on the sediment system was weak, suggesting that other factors (physical and chemical) are more important than epibenthic predation in setting the overall limits for production in this sediment.

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