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Predation and prey population variation in a high energy sand beach macrofaunal community
Nelson, W.G. (1986). Predation and prey population variation in a high energy sand beach macrofaunal community, in: Muus, K. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 20th European Marine Biology Symposium: Nutrient Cycling. Processes in Marine Sediments, Hirtshals, Denmark, 9-13 September 1985. Ophelia: International Journal of Marine Biology, 26: pp. 305-316
In: Muus, K. (Ed.) (1986). Proceedings of the 20th European Marine Biology Symposium: Nutrient Cycling. Processes in Marine Sediments, Hirtshals, Denmark, 9-13 September 1985. Ophelia: International Journal of Marine Biology, 26. Ophelia Publications: Helsingør. ISBN 87-981066-4-3. 477 pp., more
In: Ophelia: International Journal of Marine Biology. Ophelia Publications: Helsingør. ISSN 0078-5326, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Author 
    VLIZ: Proceedings [16894]
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine

Author  Top 
  • Nelson, W.G.

Abstract
    The macrobenthos of the nearshore zone of a high energy sand beach (Melbourne Beach, Florida, USA) has been studied from June 1979 until August 1983. The major faunal components are the bivalves Donax variabilis and Donax parvula, amphipods, mysids and the decapod crustacean Emerita talpoida. Population densities of these taxa show large seasonal fluctuations. Gut contents of benthic- feeding fishes from a 1.5-year period were used to estimate the proportion of macrobenthic populations consumed. For amphipods, estimated consumption by fishes was generally less than 1% per month. Estimated removal of Donax was also generally less than 1% per month, with a maximum in one month of 12 %. For mysids, estimated consumption was high, with estimated consumption exceeding total estimated population levels in seven months. Emerita talpoida appeared to be heavily utilized with most monthly estimates of consumption falling between 10 and 75 %. Other predators such as wading birds, ghost crabs (Ocypode quadrata) and planktivorous fishes, should also prey most heavily on E. talpoida and the mysids. It would therefore appear that populations of these taxa may be regulated by predation, while those of the amphipods and Donax may not be so controlled.

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