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Bioturbation as a mechanism for setting and maintaining levels of diversity in subtidal macrobenthic communities
Widdicombe, S.; Austen, M.C.; Kendall, M.A.; Warwick, R.M.; Jones, M.B. (2000). Bioturbation as a mechanism for setting and maintaining levels of diversity in subtidal macrobenthic communities, in: Jones, M.B. et al. (Ed.) Island, Ocean and Deep-Sea Biology: Proceedings of the 34th European Marine Biology Symposium, held in Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal, 13-17 September 1999. Developments in Hydrobiology, 152: pp. 369-377
In: Jones, M.B. et al. (Ed.) (2000). Island, Ocean and Deep-Sea Biology: Proceedings of the 34th European Marine Biology Symposium, held in Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal, 13-17 September 1999. Reprinted from Hydrobiologia, 440(1-3). Developments in Hydrobiology, 152. Kluwer Academic: Dordrecht. ISBN 0-7923-6846-0. XII, 391 pp., more
In: Dumont, H.J. (Ed.) Developments in Hydrobiology. Kluwer Academic/Springer: The Hague; London; Boston; Dordrecht. ISSN 0167-8418, more

Also published as
  • Widdicombe, S.; Austen, M.C.; Kendall, M.A.; Warwick, R.M.; Jones, M.B. (2000). Bioturbation as a mechanism for setting and maintaining levels of diversity in subtidal macrobenthic communities. Hydrobiologia 440(1-3): 369-377, more

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Proceedings [66290]

Keywords
    Bioturbation; Species diversity; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Widdicombe, S., more
  • Austen, M.C., more
  • Kendall, M.A., more
  • Warwick, R.M., more
  • Jones, M.B.

Abstract
    Over 2 years, experiments were conducted to compare the effects of sediment disturbance by different bioturbating, macrofaunal organisms on the diversity and structure of the associated infaunal community. The four species investigated were the bivalves Nuculoma tenuis (Montagu, 1808) and Abra alba (Wood, 1802), the heart urchin Brissopsis lyrifera (Forbes, 1841), and the burrowing decapod Calocaris macandreae (Bell, 1846). These organisms were chosen to allow assessment of the effects of contrasting feeding activities and body sizes of the bioturbating species on the diversity of the macrobenthic communities. Bioturbation by the sub-surface deposit feeders N. tenuis and B. lyrifera promoted higher levels of α and β diversity in treatments exposed to intermediate levels of disturbance. Whilst no such `intermediate response' was demonstrated for A. alba or C. macandreae, it was evident that changes in the associated fauna were influenced by the feeding type of the bioturbating organism responsible. It was also shown that different elements of the associated community responded differently to biotic disturbance. The results indicate that the variability in density and distribution of such bioturbators are important factors in structuring infaunal communities, and in setting and maintaining levels of diversity in apparently homogeneous areas.

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