Browsing by Subject "bioturbation"

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  • Bernard, Guillaume; Kauppi, Laura; Lavesque, Nicolas; Ciutat, Aurelie; Gremare, Antoine; Masse, Cecile; Maire, Olivier (2020)
    The invasive mussel Arcuatula senhousia has successfully colonized shallow soft sediments worldwide. This filter feeding mussel modifies sedimentary habitats while forming dense populations and efficiently contributes to nutrient cycling. In the present study, the density of A. senhousia was manipulated in intact sediment cores taken within an intertidal Zostera noltei seagrass meadow in Arcachon Bay (French Atlantic coast), where the species currently occurs at levels corresponding to an early invasion stage. It aimed at testing the effects of a future invasion on (1) bioturbation (bioirrigation and sediment mixing) as well as on (2) total benthic solute fluxes across the sediment-water interface. Results showed that increasing densities of A. senhousia clearly enhanced phosphate and ammonium effluxes, but conversely did not significantly affect community bioturbation rates, highlighting the ability of A. senhousia to control nutrient cycling through strong excretion rates with potential important consequences for nutrient cycling and benthic-pelagic coupling at a broader scale. However, it appears that the variability in the different measured solute fluxes were underpinned by different interactions between the manipulated density of A. senhousia and several faunal and/or environmental drivers, therefore underlining the complexity of anticipating the effects of an invasion process on ecosystem functioning within a realistic context.
  • Coppock, Rachel L.; Lindeque, Penelope K.; Cole, Matthew; Galloway, Tamara S.; Nakki, Pinja; Birgani, Hannah; Richards, Saskiya; Queirós, Ana M. (Elsevier, 2021)
    Journal of Hazardous Materials 415: 125583
    Microplastics are ubiquitous in the marine environment, however, the mechanisms governing their uptake by, and burial within, seabed habitats are poorly understood. In this study, microplastic burial and its impact on fauna-mediated sedimentary processes was quantified at three coastal sites, and the potential contribution of burrowing faunal communities to this process assessed via functional trait diversity analysis of field data. In addition, laboratory exposures were used to assess whether sediment-processing undertaken by the brittlestar Amphiura filiformis, a key species in the sampled area, could explain the burial of microplastic fibres. Field observations confirmed broad-scale burial of microplastics across the coastal seabed, consistent across sites and seasons, with microplastic sequestration linked to benthic-pelagic exchange pathways, driven by burrowing fauna. Brittlestars were observed to bury and line their burrow walls with microfibres during experiments, and their burial activity was also modified following exposure to nylon fibres, relative to controls. Collectively, these results indicate that biodiverse and functionally important seabed habitats act as microplastic sinks, with burrowing fauna contributing to this process via well-known benthic-pelagic pathways, the rates of which are modified by plastic exposure.
  • Snelgrove, Paul V.R.; Soetaert, Karline; Solan, Martin; Thrush, Simon; Wei, Chih-Lin; Danovaro, Roberto; Fulweiler, Robinson W.; Kitazato, Hiroshi; Ingole, Baban; Norkko, Alf; Parkes, R. John; Volkenborn, Nils (2018)
    Diverse biological communities mediate the transformation, transport, and storage of elements fundamental to life on Earth, including carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. However, global biogeochemical model outcomes can vary by orders of magnitude, compromising capacity to project realistic ecosystem responses to planetary changes, including ocean productivity and climate. Here, we compare global carbon turnover rates estimated using models grounded in biological versus geochemical theory and argue that the turnover estimates based on each perspective yield divergent outcomes. Importantly, empirical studies that include sedimentary biological activity vary less than those that ignore it. Improving the relevance of model projections and reducing uncertainty associated with the anticipated consequences of global change requires reconciliation of these perspectives, enabling better societal decisions on mitigation and adaptation.