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Influence of Naineris laevigata (Polychaeta: Orbiniidae) on vertical grain size distribution, and dinoflagellate resting stages in the sediment
Giangrande, A.; Montresor, M.; Cavallo, A.; Licciano, M. (2002). Influence of Naineris laevigata (Polychaeta: Orbiniidae) on vertical grain size distribution, and dinoflagellate resting stages in the sediment. J. Sea Res. 47(2): 97-108
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Bioturbation; Grain size; Mediterranean Sea; Mediterranean sea; Resting stages; Sediment distribution; Naineris laevigata (Grube, 1855) [WoRMS]; Orbiniidae Hartman, 1942 [WoRMS]; Polychaeta [WoRMS]; Mediterranean Region [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Giangrande, A., more
  • Montresor, M., more
  • Cavallo, A.
  • Licciano, M., more

Abstract
    Short-term experiments were performed with the polychaete Naineris laevigata Grube, a conveyor-belt deposit feeder, to evaluate: the daily sediment reworking rate, the influence of the activity of this burrowing worm on the vertical redistribution of the sediment and dinoflagellate cysts. We also tested the germination success of cysts after their passage through the gut of the polychaete. Vertical particle distribution was studied in small aquaria with and without worms and with an initially layered sediment. After 30 days, sediment cores were collected in controls and treatments at 3 different depths (upper, intermediate and deep) and the diameter of 100 particles from each depth was measured to obtain the size-frequency distribution. The burrowing activity of 3 worms may completely mix a pre-existent layering within 30 days. The translocation of a mud layer from 4 cm depth towards the surface was observed. The mud layer deposited on the surface by the end of the experiment was at least 1 cm thick. Daily average production of faecal pellets was 0.443±0.032 g per worm. From the first day of the experiment, the particle size distribution of the faecal pellets released at the surface revealed the presence of sediment and cysts originating from underlying layers. Tests showed that the germination percentage of the cysts significantly diminished after passage through the guts of the worms. Our results indicate that N. laevigata is an effective vertical mixer of sediment and plays a role in the vertical transport and germination success of resting stages.

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