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Effects of population density on the sediment mixing induced by the gallery-diffusor Hediste (Nereis) diversicolor O.F. Müller, 1776

Abstract : The aim of this work was to quantify the intensity of sediment mixing induced by the gallery-diffusor (functional bioturbation group) Hediste diversicolor as a function of density, using particles tracers (luminophores). In order to assess the impact of density on sediment reworking, a 1-D model was used to obtain sediment reworking coefficients such as Db (biodiffusion-like) and r (biotransport). Densities used in this experiment corresponded to population densities observed in the sampling area (Saint-Antoine Canal, Gulf of Fos, France): 144, 288, 577, 1153 indiv/m2. At first, results showed that neither luminophore maximum burying depth nor the more marked tracer accumulation areas were influenced by density. Thus density did not seem to have any influence on size of galleries or complexity of structure. Then, density-dependent relations with Db (biodiffusion-like mixing) and r (biotransport) were highlighted with an observed process intensity rate twice as high at highest worm density. On the other hand, Db and r per capita coefficients were negatively influenced by density. Db and r per capita at highest density were equal to ∼20% of individual Db and r obtained at the lowest density. Finally, this study showed the importance of density which appears to be a key parameter in the functioning of the sedimentary ecosystem.
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Eric Duport, Georges Stora, Pierre Tremblay, Franck Gilbert. Effects of population density on the sediment mixing induced by the gallery-diffusor Hediste (Nereis) diversicolor O.F. Müller, 1776. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Elsevier, 2006, vol. 336, pp. 33-41. ⟨10.1016/j.jembe.2006.04.005⟩. ⟨hal-00780272⟩

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