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Nahrungsbeziehungen der Turbellarien in Küstensalzwiesen
Bilio, M. (1967). Nahrungsbeziehungen der Turbellarien in Küstensalzwiesen. Helgol. Wiss. Meeresunters. 15(1-4): 602-621.
In: Helgoländer Wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen. Biologische Anstalt Helgoland: Hamburg. ISSN 0017-9957, more
Also appears in:
Kinne, O.; Aurich, H. (Ed.) (1967). Vorträge und Diskussionen. Erstes Europäisches Symposion über Meeresbiologie = Papers and discussions. First European Symposium on Marine Biology = Rapports et discussions. Premier symposium européen sur biologie marine. Helgoländer Wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen, 15(1-4). Biologische Anstalt Helgoland: Hamburg. 669 pp., more
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  • Bilio, M.

    Turbellarians represent one of the most characteristic and often also most numerous elements of the salt-marsh biocoenosis. The analysis of their food relations promised, therefore, insights into the food web in salt marshes. Two questions are of particular importance: (1) Is autochthonous or allochthonous food more important? (2) Are there noticeable relations to the aerial phase of the biotope? Gut-content surveys, feeding-experiments and information from literature indicate, that the main food of salt-marsh turbellarians consists of oligochetes, nematodes and diatoms. There exist certain relations between the taxonomic categories of turbellarians and their food sources, and, furthermore, between the type of pharynx and the kind of food. Oligochetes are 4 and nematodes up to 14 times more abundant than turbellarians. Nematodes are also likely to be the most important food competitors for turbellarians. Enemies of salt-marsh turbellarians are the polychaeteNereis diversicolor and sporozoan parasites. The main food of salt-marsh turbellarians consists of organisms existing in sufficient numbers in the biotope; a dependency on allochthonous food is therefore unlikely. Allochthonous food (e. g. copepods from adjacent mud flats) may, however, at times enlarge the food resources available. Little evidence for the use of air-living organisms as food, and no evidence for air-living enemies, was found. The aquatic food chain in salt marshes ends at the level of flatworm-eating polychaetes or, where these are absent, already at that of the turbellarians themselves. Although the biomass (standing crop) of primary producers reaches its maximum in the most protected part of the beach (salt marshes), maximum population density of turbellarians is found in parts of maximum exposure. This fact is considered to be due to the great amount of allochthonous food available at the upper edge of the surf zone.

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