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Colonization of macroalgal deposits by estuarine nematodes through air and potential for rafting inside algal structures
Citable as data publication
Buys, B.; Derycke, S.; De Meester, N.; Moens, T.; Marine Biology Research Group. Ghent University: Belgium; (2021): Colonization of macroalgal deposits by estuarine nematodes through air and potential for rafting inside algal structures. Marine Data Archive.
Contact: Moens, Tom

Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Our study investigated nematode dispersal through air and potential for rafting by a various set up of field experiments conducted in the Western-Scheldt estuary. In experiment I, we assessed differences in relative abundance of nematodes colonizing algae in boxes on high poles through air by wind transport ("open boxes") and by exclusion of invertebrate vectors ("gauzed boxes"). In experiment II, we investigating the importance of nematode colonization through air ("air only") versus through air and tidal currents ("air+sea", lower boxes). In experiment III, we investigated the difference in relative abundances of nematodes inside and outside macroalgal structures of Fucus sp., namely floating bladders and receptacula; using qPCR for nematode Litiditis marina species on a cryptic level if present. more

Dispersal is an important life-history trait. In marine meiofauna, and particularly in nematodes, dispersal is generally considered to be mainly passive, i.e. through transport with water currents after erosion from the sediment or from algal substrata. Because nematodes have no larval dispersal stage and have a poor swimming ability, their dispersal capacity is expected to be limited. Nevertheless, many marine nematode genera and even species have near-cosmopolitan distributions, and at much smaller spatial scales, can rapidly colonise new habitat patches. Here we demonstrate that certain marine nematodes, like the morphospecies Litoditis marina, can hide inside macroalgal structures such as receptacula (especially PM I L. marina cryptic species) and, to a lesser extent, floating bladders, which may allow them to raft over large distances with drifting macroalgae. We also demonstrate for the first time that these nematodes can colonize new habitat patches, such as newly deposited macroalgal wrack in the intertidal, not only through water but also through air. Our experimental set-up demonstrates that this aerial transport is probably the result of hitchhiking on vectors such as insects, which visit and move between the patches of deposited algae. Transport by wind, which has been observed for terrestrial nematodes and freshwater zooplankton, could not be demonstrated. These results can be important for our understanding of both large-scale geographic distribution patterns and of the small-scale colonization dynamics of habitat patches by marine nematodes.

Biology > Benthos, Biology > Ecology - biodiversity
Marine/Coastal, Brackish water, Dispersal phenomena, Estuarine nematodes, Wind and rafting, ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde, ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde, PaulinaPolder, Litoditis marina (Bastian, 1865) Sudhaus, 2011

Geographical coverage
ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde [Marine Regions]
ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde, PaulinaPolder

Temporal coverage
September 2013 - April 2014

Taxonomic coverage
Litoditis marina (Bastian, 1865) Sudhaus, 2011 [WoRMS]

Air dispersal of nematodes Methodology , Inside versus outside macro algal structures Methodology
Air dispersal of nematodes: counting under microscope rinsing of algae morphological analyses (microscope)
Inside versus outside macro algal structures: incubation on agar slants morphological analyses (microscope) qPCR

Universiteit Gent; Faculteit Wetenschappen; Vakgroep Biologie; Onderzoeksgroep Mariene Biologie (MARBIOL), moredata creator

Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Research: field experiment
Metadatarecord created: 2021-03-16
Information last updated: 2021-03-18
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