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Effects of the tube-building polychaete Lanice conchilega (Pallas) on benthic macrofauna and nematodes in an intertidal sandflat
Zühlke, R.; Blome, D.; van Bernem, K.H.; Dittmann, S. (1998). Effects of the tube-building polychaete Lanice conchilega (Pallas) on benthic macrofauna and nematodes in an intertidal sandflat. Senckenb. Marit. 29(1-6): 131-138.
In: Senckenbergiana Maritima: wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen der Senckenbergischen naturforschenden Gesellschaft. E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung (Nägele u. Obermiller): Stuttgart. ISSN 0080-889X, more
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  • Zühlke, R.
  • Blome, D.
  • van Bernem, K.H.
  • Dittmann, S.

    Biogenic habitat structures play a major role for distribution patterns of benthic fauna. Tube-dwelling polychaetes provide one of the main features in the otherwise relatively low structured sandy intertidal. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the tube-dwelling sand-masonLanice conchilega on macro-fauna and nematodes in an intertidal sandflat in the Wadden Sea area off die German coast. Field studies and experiments were carried out on the associated macrobenthic fauna of naturalL. conchilega aggregates and of artificial tubes. Furthermore, the distribution of nematode species at increasing distances along transects arising from individualL. conchilega tubes, was investigated.Natural as well as artificial tubes had positive effects on numbers of macrofaunal species and individuals. Yet, juvenileMya arenaria were the only species appearing in higher numbers in bothL. conchilega aggregates and artificial tube fields. They used the tube structure to attach themselves with their byssus threads. The polychaeteMalmgreniella lunulata only occurred in naturalL. conchilega aggregates and was often found inside the polychaetes’ tubes. It is possibly a commensal associated toL. conchilega. In artificial tube fields, opportunistic spionids andCapitella capitata settled in higher numbers. This might be due to colonisation of sediment accumulating in the tube fields, utilisation of the tubes as an attachment surface or refuge from predation. However, two predatory polychaetes,Eteone longa andNereis diversicolor, were also found in higher abundance in natural or artificial tube fields.Nematode abundances were considerably higher next to individualL. conchilega tubes at a distance of 0.5 cm. This distribution was mainly caused by a group of threadlike species with a thin cuticle, which are thought to be adapted to epidermal uptake of dissolved organic matter.It is suggested that there might be a linkage between predatory polychaetes and the distribution pattern found for nematodes around the tubes ofL. conchilega.

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