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Bioturbation, ecosystem functioning and community structure

Bioturbation, ecosystem functioning and community structure
Bioturbation, ecosystem functioning and community structure
The effect of community structure on the functioning of the ecosystem is an important issue in ecology due to continuing global species loss. The influence of infaunal community structure on the functioning of marine systems is proposed here to act primarily through bioturbation of the sediment. Nutrient concentration in the water column, generated by release from the sediment, was used as a measure of ecosystem functioning. In situ and laboratory experiments showed a significant difference in nutrient concentrations with different species treatments. Bioturbation profiles showing the incorporation of tracer particles also differed between communities with different dominant species. The behavioural differences between infaunal species, generating different modes and rates of bioturbation, are therefore proposed to influence nutrient release. The presence and quantity of bioturbating infauna also influenced the amount of sediment suspended in the water column. The increase in surface area available for microbial activity may generate an increase in nutrient cycling. Abiotic influences on sediment structure, such as flow, may have a similar effect on nutrient concentration. Annular flumes used in both laboratory and in situ experiments to generate flow conditions produced a significant increase in ammonia (NH4-N) production in macrofaunal treatments. Flow may influence the behaviour of macrofaunal species, causing changes in NH4-N production through modifying bioturbation of the sediment.
1607-7938
999-1005
Biles, C. L.
dac0cd78-80ec-44ad-a21f-21f9a3275a13
Paterson, D. M.
6eff77a6-6c47-48a3-aa80-bdd1b120d67f
Ford, R. B.
e7bb1f0a-8010-42c8-849f-4678dd23cead
Solan, M.
c28b294a-1db6-4677-8eab-bd8d6221fecf
Raffaelli, D. G.
a72ab1b5-13c1-4d7a-ad6f-a165d0010892
Biles, C. L.
dac0cd78-80ec-44ad-a21f-21f9a3275a13
Paterson, D. M.
6eff77a6-6c47-48a3-aa80-bdd1b120d67f
Ford, R. B.
e7bb1f0a-8010-42c8-849f-4678dd23cead
Solan, M.
c28b294a-1db6-4677-8eab-bd8d6221fecf
Raffaelli, D. G.
a72ab1b5-13c1-4d7a-ad6f-a165d0010892

Biles, C. L., Paterson, D. M., Ford, R. B., Solan, M. and Raffaelli, D. G. (2002) Bioturbation, ecosystem functioning and community structure. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 6, 999-1005. (doi:10.5194/hess-6-999-2002).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The effect of community structure on the functioning of the ecosystem is an important issue in ecology due to continuing global species loss. The influence of infaunal community structure on the functioning of marine systems is proposed here to act primarily through bioturbation of the sediment. Nutrient concentration in the water column, generated by release from the sediment, was used as a measure of ecosystem functioning. In situ and laboratory experiments showed a significant difference in nutrient concentrations with different species treatments. Bioturbation profiles showing the incorporation of tracer particles also differed between communities with different dominant species. The behavioural differences between infaunal species, generating different modes and rates of bioturbation, are therefore proposed to influence nutrient release. The presence and quantity of bioturbating infauna also influenced the amount of sediment suspended in the water column. The increase in surface area available for microbial activity may generate an increase in nutrient cycling. Abiotic influences on sediment structure, such as flow, may have a similar effect on nutrient concentration. Annular flumes used in both laboratory and in situ experiments to generate flow conditions produced a significant increase in ammonia (NH4-N) production in macrofaunal treatments. Flow may influence the behaviour of macrofaunal species, causing changes in NH4-N production through modifying bioturbation of the sediment.

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More information

Published date: 31 December 2002

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 457747
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/457747
ISSN: 1607-7938
PURE UUID: 72b5bb03-89b6-4f98-b6ed-c5965721dc72
ORCID for M. Solan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9924-5574

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Date deposited: 16 Jun 2022 00:30
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 01:59

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Contributors

Author: C. L. Biles
Author: D. M. Paterson
Author: R. B. Ford
Author: M. Solan ORCID iD
Author: D. G. Raffaelli

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