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Particle size-selection of two deposit feeders: the amphipod Corophium volutator and the prosobranch Hydrobia ulva
Fenchel, T.; Kofoed, L.H.; Lappalainen, A. (1975). Particle size-selection of two deposit feeders: the amphipod Corophium volutator and the prosobranch Hydrobia ulva. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 30(2): 119-128
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Carbon 14; Feeding behaviour; Food composition; Food organisms; Microorganisms; Mucus; Respiration; Sediments; Suspended particulate matter; Corophium volutator (Pallas, 1766) [WoRMS]; Hydrobia ulvae (Pennant, 1777) [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Fenchel, T., more
  • Kofoed, L.H.
  • Lappalainen, A.

Abstract
    The feeding biology of C. volutator is compared with that of the coexisting H. ulvae. Regarding ingestion of particles, both forms show size selection which alone can explain their coexistence. Particle size-selection also explains some qualitative differences in the composition of the food of the 2 forms; thus, diatoms play a relatively larger role in the diet of H. ulvae than in the diet of C. volutator, whereas bacteria are probably relatively more important for the latter. Results of experiments with feeding of C-14 labelled microorganisms are in accordance with the findings on particle size-distribution of the gut contents, and show that (1) C. volutator can only utilize bacteria adsorbed to particles within the size range 4 to 63 µm (this is why the presence of clay and silt particles on the sediment are necessary for efficient feeding of this amphipod); (2) C. volutator can utilize bacteria suspended in the water pumped through its burrow for respiration if silt and clay particles are present in the sediment. (3) H. ulvae can utilize large particles, and also browses on surfaces, and some evidence is brought forward that it also utilized mucus for trapping microorganisms. The coexistence of deposit-feeding animals is discussed. It is concluded that the number of coexisting, closely related spp is usually small, and that their resource partitioning is probably mainly based on particle-size selectivlty. In the case of unrelated forms e.g. H. ulvae and C. volutator. a number of behavioral, physiological and morphological differences, and also the widespread ability of deposit feeders to utilize alternative feeding mechanisms may also lead to resource partitioning. Thus, there are often several niche dimensions related to feeding allowing a certain diversity of coexisting deposit feeders.

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