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Adult infauna as facilitators of colonization on intertidal sandflats
Thrush, S.F.; Pridmore, R.D.; Hewitt, J.E.; Cummings, V.J. (1992). Adult infauna as facilitators of colonization on intertidal sandflats. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 159: 253-265
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Thrush, S.F.
  • Pridmore, R.D.
  • Hewitt, J.E.
  • Cummings, V.J.

Abstract
    Adult macrofauna can be present during the initial stages of recolonization as a result of their resistance to disturbance or migration. They may have an important effect on recolonization of disturbed patches because of their greater size and higher rates of feeding and bioturbation, relative to invading larvae and juveniles. An experiment was conducted to assess the influence of the polychaetes Heteromastus filiformis (Claparède) and Aonides oxycephala (Sars) and the bivalve Tellina liliana Iredale on the structure of assemblages colonizing small defaunated patches. Both T. liliana and A. oxycephala, when added separately to defaunated sediments, facilitated the colonization of other species and/or conspecifics. The addition of H. filiformis to defaunated patches had little influence on the population density of common taxa but did increase the variety of colonizing taxa, especially polychaetes. These results emphasise the importance of facilitatory interactions in macrofaunal recolonization of intertidal sandflats. The patterns of species association apparent from this experiment are discussed in relation to the disturbances created by feeding rays in this habitat.

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