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Testing the functional redundancy of Limnodrilus and Tubifex (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae) in hyporheic sediments: an experimental study in microcosms
Mermillod-Blondin, F.; Gérino, M.; Degrange, V.; Lensi, R.; Chassé, J.-L.; Rard, M.; Creuzé, M.; Creuzé des Châtelliers, M. (2001). Testing the functional redundancy of Limnodrilus and Tubifex (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae) in hyporheic sediments: an experimental study in microcosms. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 58(9): 1747-1759
In: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences = Journal canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 0706-652X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Area; Biodiversity; Denitrification; Fauna; Worms; Worms; Bacteria [WoRMS]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Mermillod-Blondin, F.
  • Gérino, M.
  • Degrange, V.
  • Lensi, R.
  • Chassé, J.-L.
  • Rard, M.
  • Creuzé, M.
  • Creuzé des Châtelliers, M.

Abstract
    Most tubificid worms are classified in the same functional group by their similar bioturbation and feeding activities in fine sediments of lakes. The objective of this study was to test the functional redundancy of two genera of tubificids (Limnodrilus and Tubifex) at two densities in coarse sediments using slow filtration columns. We measured the effects of the worms on particle redistribution, organic matter processing, nutrient fluxes, and microbial characteristics. The results showed that Limnodrilus and Tubifex created the same stimulation of aerobic and anaerobic microbial activities in the sediment. However, 50 Tubifex had a greater effect than 50 Limnodrilus on microbial processes. Furthermore, at a density of 100 oligochaetes per column, only Tubifex significantly increased particle redistribution and oxygen consumption in the first centimetre of the sediment. In contrast, Limnodrilus more often modified microbial activity in the deeper layers of the columns. The functional redundancy of the two genera of tubificid worms was validated by most measured processes. However, the variability within functional groups cannot be neglected because each genus had its functional peculiarity in the ecosystem.

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