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Effects of various bivalves on meiobenthic and nematode assemblages in shallow sandy sediments
Urban-Malinga, B.; Zalewski, M.; Barnes, N. (2016). Effects of various bivalves on meiobenthic and nematode assemblages in shallow sandy sediments. Hydrobiologia 772(1): 131-144.
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158; e-ISSN 1573-5117, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Meiofauna; Nematodes; Bivalves; Baltic Sea; Laboratory experiment

Authors  Top 
  • Urban-Malinga, B.
  • Zalewski, M.
  • Barnes, N., more

    A laboratory microcosm experiment was performed to study the effect of bivalves on meiobenthic and nematode community structures. Three bivalve species dominant in shallow coastal sediments of the southern Baltic Sea differing in terms of feeding mode, faecal deposition and sediment depth penetration (Macoma balthica, Cerastoderma glaucum and Mya arenaria) were selected as model organisms: our experiment demonstrated that although the bivalves had no overall effect on total meiobenthic densities, they variously affected a number of meiobenthic major taxa. Species buried under the sediment surface (M. balthica, M. arenaria) facilitated meiobenthos to penetrate deeper sediment layers compared to the surface-dwelling bivalves (C. glaucum). The most conspicuous response of meiobenthos and nematodes to bivalve activities was, however, observed at the sediment surface: densities of juvenile bivalves and rotifers, and the dominant nematode species (Adoncholaimus thalassophygas, Desmolaimus cf. zeelandicus and Halomonhystera disjuncta) were significantly reduced in surface sediments in Macoma microcosms compared to other treatments. It is suggested that different bivalve feeding modes (deposit-feeding vs. suspension-feeding), attributes of faecal deposition (to the sediment surface vs. to subsurface sediments) and depth of sediment penetration can significantly change meiobenthic and nematode communities in sandy sediments.

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