Alteration and release of aliphatic compounds by the polychaete Nereis virens (Sars) experimentally fed with hydrocarbons

Abstract : In the laboratory, marine worms were fed with a mixture of algae and several aliphatic hydrocarbons for 15 days. After ingestion by the worms, 34.9% of hydrocarbons are found in the faeces and only 3.1% accumulated in the gut. The comparison between the initial mixture and the faeces shows that the worm’s digestive process lead to changes in the distribution of the n-alkane mixture. These changes are different from those only due to physical processes in the experimental conditions. In our experiment, no variation in the distribution of hydrocarbons in faeces with time and no microbial hydrocarbon biodegradation were evidenced. Our results suggest that marine worm feeding can substantially affect the fate of hydrocarbons in the sedimentary marine ecosystem by predominantly stimulating dissolution processes.
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Franck Gilbert, Georges Stora, Gaston Desrosiers, Bruno Deflandre, Jean-Claude Bertrand, et al.. Alteration and release of aliphatic compounds by the polychaete Nereis virens (Sars) experimentally fed with hydrocarbons. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Elsevier, 2001, vol. 256, pp. 199-213. ⟨10.1016/S0022-0981(00)00317-8⟩. ⟨hal-00763824⟩

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