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The capacity of filter-feeding organisms to affect water transport in sandy beds: the example of Mya arenaria
Forster, S.; Zettler, M.L. (2004). The capacity of filter-feeding organisms to affect water transport in sandy beds: the example of Mya arenaria. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 144(6): 1183-1189. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-003-1278-2
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Forster, S., more
  • Zettler, M.L.

Abstract
    Benthic filter feeding macrofauna organisms may be an important factor linking sediment and water column. Transport of water and concomitantly of suspended matter is directly related to the size of the benthic filter feeding population. This paper aims to determine the potential for water transport by the bivalve Mya arenaria along a coastal stretch of roughly 100 km length in the southern Baltic Sea. Quantification of population filtration rates specific to the area is based on distribution, abundance and biomass of M. arenaria and calculated according to previously published filtration rate-biomass relations. Calculated rates range up to >8 m3 m-2 day-1 (at 5-20 m water depth in sandy sediment) with the potential to locally process a volume of water equivalent to the water column within <1 day. Data from 1991-2002 at one site suggest that the area-specific potential population filtration rate remains remarkably constant in time despite changes in population structure of M. arenaria. The related impact on pore water exchange within the permeable sediment associated with the leakage of water from the gape of M. arenaria valves is discussed.

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