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Adult interference with postlarvae in soft sediments: the Pontoporeia-Macoma example
Elmgren, R.; Ankar, S.; Marteleur, B.; Ejdung, G. (1986). Adult interference with postlarvae in soft sediments: the Pontoporeia-Macoma example. Ecology 67(4): 827-836
In: Ecology. Ecological Society of America: Brooklyn, NY. ISSN 0012-9658, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Competition; Interspecific relationships; Larval settlement; Population density; Recruitment; Survival; Macoma balthica (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Pontoporeia affinis Lindström, 1855 [WoRMS]; Pontoporeia femorata Krøyer, 1842 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Elmgren, R.
  • Ankar, S.
  • Marteleur, B.
  • Ejdung, G.

Abstract
    In the Baltic Sea, the presence of dense populations of the deposit-feeding amphipods Pontoporeia affinis and P. femorata has been hypothesized to inhibit recruitment of the bivalve Macoma balthica. Experimental tests with P. affinis and newly settled M. balthica in small, flow-through aquaria corroborated this hypothesis. Survival of small M. balthica spat decreased with increasing density of Pontoporeia affinis. The increase in mortality was strong enough potentially to explain the field observation that M. balthica is generally absent or rare in areas with dense populations of Pontoporeia spp. It is suggested that while interference with larval recruitment by adults is likely to be an important structuring factor in marine soft bottom communities, it is unlikely to depress community biomass below carrying capacity, as suggested by Peterson (1979). Virtually all communities contain species with brood protection, the young of which are less susceptible to interference by adults. Where such interference is strong, species with brood protection are likely to become dominant, as are Pontoporeia spp. over large areas in the Baltic Sea.

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