Seasonal Coupling Between Intertidal Macrofauna and Sediment Column Porewater Nutrient Concentrations
Published Online: 15 APR 2005
Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
How to Cite
Magni, P. and Montani, S. 2005. Seasonal Coupling Between Intertidal Macrofauna and Sediment Column Porewater Nutrient Concentrations. Water Encyclopedia. 4:73–77.
- Published Online: 15 APR 2005
It is well established that dense bivalve assemblages play a major role in the processes of benthic nutrient regeneration in coastal marine ecosystems. In recent years, there is increasing evidence of the close relationship between nutrient concentrations in sediments and macrofauna-influenced upward flux of nutrients that enhances benthic primary productivity. This coupling has been shown, to varying degree, for a variety of benthic communities dominated by both suspension and deposit feeders. The former, including semi-infaunal mussel species, such as Musculista senhousia and Modiolus americanus, filter particulate matter from the water column; the latter, such as holothurians, consume high amounts of sediment bacteria, microalgae, and dead organic matter. Due to the complexity and multiplicity of mechanisms that govern nutrient cycling in coastal ecosystems, these studies highlight the need for integrated investigations on the variability of porewater nutrient concentrations and the composition, biology, and behavior of in situ macrofaunal species.
- sediment column;
- bivalve excretion;
- tidal flat