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Effects of the deposit-feeding benthic bivalve Macoma balthica on meiobenthos
Olafsson, E.; Elmgren, R.; Papkosta, O. (1993). Effects of the deposit-feeding benthic bivalve Macoma balthica on meiobenthos. Oecologia 93(4): 457-462
In: Oecologia. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0029-8549, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Biotic factors; Community composition; Competition; Detritus feeders; Feeding behaviour; Meiobenthos; Macoma balthica (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; ANE, Sweden [Marine Regions]; Marine

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  • Olafsson, E., more
  • Elmgren, R.
  • Papkosta, O.

    To evaluate the effects of a deposit-feeding bivalve on meiobenthic assemblage structure in muddy habitats, a laboratory experiment was performed at the Askoe Laboratory in the northwestern Baltic proper. Microcosms, surface area 104 cm2, containing a c. 7-cm thick layer of sieved (0.5 mmm) sublittoral mud were established in June 1990. Two months later the tellinid bivalve Macoma balthica was added in quantities varying from 0 to 40 individuals per microcosm. After 5 months the effects of the bivalves on the meiofauna were surprisingly small. The density of harpacticoid copepods was lowest (P < 0.05) in microcosms containing a high density of M. balthica. It is suggested that competition for food resources was responsible for this pattern. For all other meiofaunal groups, including nematodes which were the most abundant taxon (99%), no significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed among treatments. The assemblage structure of the nematodes was similar between treatments. The vertical distribution of both major taxa and nematode species appeared to be unaffected by the presence of the bivalve.

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