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Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) affect sediment biogeochemistry in eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds and may increase sulphide stress in plants
Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Systemekologiska institutionen.
Visa övriga samt affilieringar
(Engelska)Manuskript (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-27323OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-27323DiVA, id: diva2:213779
Tillgänglig från: 2009-04-29 Skapad: 2009-04-29 Senast uppdaterad: 2010-01-14Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Importance of blue mussels for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in subtidal habitats
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Importance of blue mussels for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in subtidal habitats
2009 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Blue mussels, Mytilus spp., occur on rocky and sedimentary shores worldwide where they often form dense aggregates. These assemblages change the local environment and create unique habitats. By extensive filter-feeding, the mussels regulate availability and flow of resources such as nutrients and organic material, and are thereby important in benthic-pelagic coupling. This thesis investigates the role of Mytilus spp. for the diversity of associated species, ecosystem functioning and services that the mussels provides. My results show that Mytilus habitats support highly diverse associated communities, especially in subtidal sediment habitats in the Skagerrak and Baltic Sea. The macrofauna species richness was shown to correlate with mussel patch size and biomass. Structural properties of Mytilus spp. provide substrate for attachment, shelter and increase habitat complexity in the system, which was found to enhance species diversity. Biological activities of the mussels, e.g. filter-feeding, biodeposition and nutrient regeneration, seemed to determine the abundance, biomass and functioning of the associated plant and animal communities. The communities are dependent on import of energy resources through the mussels filter-feeding from the pelagic system, which increase contents of organic carbon and nitrogen in sediments by biodeposition even in very small patches. At larger scale, the role of Mytilus spp. as a habitat-modifying species varied between substrate types. On soft substrate, where physical structure is scarce, Mytilus spp. had strong positive effects on the associated algal community, while on hard substrate much less influence was found. In Flensborg fjord, when coexisting with eelgrass, Zostera marina, presence of Mytilus edulis influenced the grain size and biogeochemistry of the sediment, which in turn, seemed to induce sulphide stress in the plants and change plant performance. Due to its biomass dominance and substantial water-filtering capacity, Mytilus sp. tends to counteract eutrophication and maintain water quality maintenance services in the Baltic Sea. The mussels' filtration of plankton and particulate organic material from the pelagic system improves the light climate for benthic algae and increase production of other benthic organisms. This promotes a shift from a turbid plankton dominated system to a highly diverse and productive benthic system. I conclude that Mytilus spp. is important for sustaining biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of subtidal habitats, especially in the Baltic coastal zone.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Stockholm: Department of System Ecology, Stockholm Univeristy, 2009. s. 49
Nyckelord
blue mussel, Mytilus spp., ecosystem engineering, habitat-modifier, diversity, facilitation, ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services and water quality maintenance
Nationell ämneskategori
Ekologi
Forskningsämne
marin ekotoxikologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-27339 (URN)978-91-7155-883-1 (ISBN)
Disputation
2009-05-29, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapernas hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8A, Stockholm, 09:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2009-05-08 Skapad: 2009-04-29 Senast uppdaterad: 2010-01-14Bibliografiskt granskad

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