Macrobenthic diversity and sediment-water exchanges of oxygen and ammonium: Example of two subtidal communities of the eastern English Channel

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Rius, Armonie
Denis, Lionel
Dauvin, Jean-Claude
Spilmont, Nicolas
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2018
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In organic-rich shallow habitats, benthic macrofauna is known to play a major role in the geochemical functioning of surficial sediments through its metabolism, as well as its bioirrigation and/or bioturbation activity. In this paper, the effects of benthic macrofauna on metabolic fluxes at the sediment-water interface were studied at four dates, from winter to late summer, on two major macrobenthic communities of the eastern English Channel (macrotidal system): the fine sand Abra alba community (2 stations) and the sandy gravel Ophiothrix fragilis community (1 station). Oxygen and ammonium fluxes showed temporal changes that could be attributed to the variation of sea water temperature. Once the effect of temperature removed (using Q10 = 2.5), the average fauna mediated fluxes (FFauna) represented respectively 77% and 76% of average total fluxes. Considering the whole dataset, species number and biomass showed a significant correlation with fauna mediated fluxes of O2 and NH4+, while the relationships with abundance were not significant. The species composition of the community might influence ecosystem functioning, but in the present study, functional groups have a very poor relationship with FFauna (O2) and FFauna (NH4+). Despite the presence of engineer species, establishing general and simple rules to link macrofaunal parameters to functional attributes remains very difficult, suggesting that communities rather followed the idiosyncrasy and rivet hypothesis.

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Journal of Sea Research

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136

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© 2018 Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.

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Oceanography not elsewhere classified

Oceanography

Ecology

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