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Role of macrofauna functional traits and density in biogeochemical fluxes and bioturbation

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Abstract
The importance of different functional traits of macrobenthos in benthic processes of the Southern Bight of the North Sea was investigated to estimate the effects of density declines and species loss on benthic ecosystem functioning. Two laboratory experiments were performed: before (winter, temperature = 10°C) and after (summer, temperature = 18°C) sedimentation of the spring phytoplankton bloom. Single species treatments of key species (Abra alba, Lanice conchilega and Nephtys sp.) with different functional traits were added to microcosms at 3 density levels (natural, lower, very low) to account for possible density declines. Sediment–water exchanges of oxygen and nutrients, denitrification and bioturbation were measured. In absence of fauna, benthic mineralisation in the summer experiment was 2.0 times higher than in winter. Fauna stimulated microbial respiration more in summer (up to 100% in L. conchilega treatments) than in winter (negligible fauna effect). As chlorophyll a concentrations were similar in both seasons, the stronger fluxes in summer must be explained by a higher macrobenthic activity owing to the elevated temperature and better condition of the animals. Stimulation of mineralisation by the 3 species in the microcosms was different, as it was related to behavior. Owing to its irrigation activity, the tube dweller L. conchilega had more pronounced influences on benthic respiration, nutrient release and denitrification than did the biodiffusers, A. alba and Nephtys sp. A. alba appeared to be a more effective bioturbator than Nephtys sp. Processes such as benthic respiration, nutrient fluxes, denitrification and bioturbation seem to be related to animal densities and therefore decreases in densities can possibly have implications for ecosystem functioning.
Keywords
Functional traits, Macrobenthos, MACOMA-BALTHICA COMMUNITY, POLYCHAETE NEREIS-VIRENS, 2 CONTRASTING SEDIMENTS, Ecosystem functioning, Nephtys sp., Abra alba, Lanice conchilega, Density, Temporal variability, SOUTHERN NORTH-SEA, LANICE-CONCHILEGA, MARINE SEDIMENT, ECOSYSTEM ENGINEERS, ORGANIC-CARBON, IN-SITU, CHLOROPHYLL-A

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Citation

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MLA
Braeckman, Ulrike, et al. “Role of Macrofauna Functional Traits and Density in Biogeochemical Fluxes and Bioturbation.” MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES, vol. 399, 2010, pp. 173–86.
APA
Braeckman, U., Provoost, P., Gribsholt, B., Van Gansbeke, D., Middelburg, J. J., Soetaert, K., … Vanaverbeke, J. (2010). Role of macrofauna functional traits and density in biogeochemical fluxes and bioturbation. MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES, 399, 173–186.
Chicago author-date
Braeckman, Ulrike, Pieter Provoost, Britta Gribsholt, Dirk Van Gansbeke, Jack J Middelburg, Karline Soetaert, Magda Vincx, and Jan Vanaverbeke. 2010. “Role of Macrofauna Functional Traits and Density in Biogeochemical Fluxes and Bioturbation.” MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES 399: 173–86.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Braeckman, Ulrike, Pieter Provoost, Britta Gribsholt, Dirk Van Gansbeke, Jack J Middelburg, Karline Soetaert, Magda Vincx, and Jan Vanaverbeke. 2010. “Role of Macrofauna Functional Traits and Density in Biogeochemical Fluxes and Bioturbation.” MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES 399: 173–186.
Vancouver
1.
Braeckman U, Provoost P, Gribsholt B, Van Gansbeke D, Middelburg JJ, Soetaert K, et al. Role of macrofauna functional traits and density in biogeochemical fluxes and bioturbation. MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES. 2010;399:173–86.
IEEE
[1]
U. Braeckman et al., “Role of macrofauna functional traits and density in biogeochemical fluxes and bioturbation,” MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES, vol. 399, pp. 173–186, 2010.
@article{850156,
  abstract     = {The importance of different functional traits of macrobenthos in benthic processes of the Southern Bight of the North Sea was investigated to estimate the effects of density declines and species loss on benthic ecosystem functioning. Two laboratory experiments were performed: before (winter, temperature = 10°C) and after (summer, temperature = 18°C) sedimentation of the spring phytoplankton bloom. Single species treatments of key species (Abra alba, Lanice conchilega and Nephtys sp.) with different functional traits were added to microcosms at 3 density levels (natural, lower, very low) to account for possible density declines. Sediment–water exchanges of oxygen and nutrients, denitrification and bioturbation were measured. In absence of fauna, benthic mineralisation in the summer experiment was 2.0 times higher than in winter. Fauna stimulated microbial respiration more in summer (up to 100% in L. conchilega treatments) than in winter (negligible fauna effect). As chlorophyll a concentrations were similar in both seasons, the stronger fluxes in summer must be explained by a higher macrobenthic activity owing to the elevated temperature and better condition of the animals. Stimulation of mineralisation by the 3 species in the microcosms was different, as it was related to behavior. Owing to its irrigation activity, the tube dweller L. conchilega had more pronounced influences on benthic respiration, nutrient release and denitrification than did the biodiffusers, A. alba and Nephtys sp. A. alba appeared to be a more effective bioturbator than Nephtys sp. Processes such as benthic respiration, nutrient fluxes, denitrification and bioturbation seem to be related to animal densities and therefore decreases in densities can possibly have implications for ecosystem functioning.},
  author       = {Braeckman, Ulrike and Provoost, Pieter and Gribsholt, Britta and Van Gansbeke, Dirk and Middelburg, Jack J and Soetaert, Karline and Vincx, Magda and Vanaverbeke, Jan},
  issn         = {0171-8630},
  journal      = {MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES},
  keywords     = {Functional traits,Macrobenthos,MACOMA-BALTHICA COMMUNITY,POLYCHAETE NEREIS-VIRENS,2 CONTRASTING SEDIMENTS,Ecosystem functioning,Nephtys sp.,Abra alba,Lanice conchilega,Density,Temporal variability,SOUTHERN NORTH-SEA,LANICE-CONCHILEGA,MARINE SEDIMENT,ECOSYSTEM ENGINEERS,ORGANIC-CARBON,IN-SITU,CHLOROPHYLL-A},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {173--186},
  title        = {Role of macrofauna functional traits and density in biogeochemical fluxes and bioturbation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08336},
  volume       = {399},
  year         = {2010},
}

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