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Bioturbation effects of Corophium volutator: Importance of density and behavioural activity
De Backer, A.; Van Coillie, F.; Montserrat, F.; Provoost, P.; Van Colen, C.; Vincx, M.; Degraer, S. (2011). Bioturbation effects of Corophium volutator: Importance of density and behavioural activity. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 91(2): 306-313.
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714; e-ISSN 1096-0015, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 217244 [ OMA ]

    Properties > Physical properties > Density
    Sediment mixing > Bioturbation
    Corophium volutator (Pallas, 1766) [WoRMS]; Corophium volutator (Pallas, 1766) [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    behavioural activity; bioturbation; Corophium volutator; density; luminophores

Authors  Top 
  • De Backer, A., more
  • Van Coillie, F., more
  • Montserrat, F., more
  • Provoost, P.

    Bioturbation is one of the major processes influencing ecosystem functioning. Population parameters such as species density, burrow density and species-specific life modes, determine the impact of bioturbation on the ecosystem. A laboratory experiment was developed, using microcosms mimicking a marine intertidal sediment–water interface which allowed for quantification of different population parameters. The vertical redistribution, bioturbation rate and maximum penetration depth of two sizes (41 and 129 µm) of luminophores were measured in five treatments (control, low density of burrows with and without Corophium (1989 ind./m2), and high density of burrows with and without Corophium (14,921 ind./m2)) after 1, 7 and 14 days. Results indicate that the behavioural activities of Corophium are of the utmost importance in sediment reworking, since they contributed to a five-fold increase in bioturbation rate compared to the passive transport induced by the static structure of the burrows. Furthermore, density is an important parameter because only high densities play a prominent role in particle transport and hence in organic matter processing, while the role of low Corophium densities is limited in sediment reworking. No evidence for differentiation in sediment size fractions was observed. Finally, bioturbation rates in this study were low compared to other studies, and these results suggest an influence of the tidal rhythmicity in the behavioural activity of Corophium on the bioturbation rate.

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