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Colonization of azoic sediments of different grain-size composition by littoral Harpacticoida: Copepoda
Chertoprud, E.S.; Azovsky, A.I.; Sapozhnikov, F.V. (2005). Colonization of azoic sediments of different grain-size composition by littoral Harpacticoida: Copepoda. Oceanology 45(5): 698-706
In: Oceanology. Maik Nauka/Springer: Moscow. ISSN 0001-4370, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Chertoprud, E.S.
  • Azovsky, A.I.
  • Sapozhnikov, F.V.

    Colonization of isolated plots (open bottomless plastic containers) with sterile sands of different grain size by littoral harpacticoids was studied. The colonization begins very rapidly with the appearance of harpacticoids in these containers after several hours of the experiment. Epibenthic and swimming forms (Heterolaophonte minuta, H. littoralis, Platychelipus littoralis, Stenhelia palustris, Halectinosoma curticorne) were the most active colonizers settling primarily through the near-bottom waters at high tides. Burrowing species such as Paraleptastacus kliei and Huntemannia jadensis colonized the substrate substantially slower, mostly crawling through the sediments. Some differences are observed between the species in their colonization of different sediments according to their natural preferences. Most readily, harpacticoids colonized the fine-grained sand close in grain-size composition to the reference one. The period of intense colonization lasted approximately one week. At this stage, some species that were rare or lacking in the reference community, were relatively abundant in the experimental containers. Thus, the total colonizing pool of the species, a potential source of harpacticoid diversity, is broader as compared with that characteristic of the actual local community. This highly mobile pool provides fast and permanent settling on any free space. After three-four weeks, both the species composition and the abundance of all the experimental communities approached these parameters in the reference one and an equilibrium state was established. The results indicate that only the initial stage of meiofaunal colonization is affected by the sediment grain size and species motility; then, other factors become more important, which smoothes the differences between the experimental and surrounding communities. It is suggested that this two-stage colonization scenario is a general feature of most of the micro- and meiobenthic communities.

  • Harpacticoida from a field survey in the White Sea in 2000, more

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