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Meiofauna reduces bacterial mineralization of naphthalene in marine sediment
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marine Ecotoxicology)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marine Ecology)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marine Ecotoxicology)
2010 (English)In: The ISME journal, ISSN 1751-7362, no 4, 1421-1430 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The role of sediment-living meiofauna, benthic invertebrates smaller than 1000lm, such as nematodes and ostracods, on the mineralization of naphthalene, a common polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), in marine sediment was studied in microcosms using radiorespirometry. A method to extract live meiofauna was developed and used in order to experimentally manipulate meiofauna abundance and group diversity. Higher abundances of meiofauna were found to significantly decrease naphthalene mineralization. Furthermore, a change in the bacterial community composition (studied using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism) was also observed in presence of higher meiofauna abundance, as well as a lower number of cultivable naphthalene-degrading bacteria. The reduced mineralization of naphthalene and the altered bacterial community composition in the presence of increased meiofauna abundance is likely the result of top-down control by meiofauna. This study shows that higher abundances of meiofauna can significantly decrease the microbial mineralization of PAHs such as naphthalene and also significantly modify the bacterial community composition in natural marine sediments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Society for Microbial Ecology , 2010. no 4, 1421-1430 p.
Keyword [en]
biodegradation; predation; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; trophic interactions; top-down control; live meiofauna extraction; T
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38802DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2010.63OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-38802DiVA: diva2:315424
Available from: 2010-04-29 Created: 2010-04-29 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Trophic ecology of meiofauna: Response to sedimentation of phytoplankton blooms in the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Trophic ecology of meiofauna: Response to sedimentation of phytoplankton blooms in the Baltic Sea
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Marine soft sediments are the second largest habitat on Earth. How animal communities in this habitat are structured is a central issue in marine ecology. Food is an important limiting factor for many benthic populations, and settling organic matter from phytoplankton blooms is of vital importance to them. This thesis discusses the effects of settling phytoplankton blooms on benthic meiofaunal populations in the Baltic Sea and how species interactions affect the fate of settled organic matter. Eutrophication in the Baltic Sea has altered phytoplankton community dynamics, with indications that toxin-producing cyanobacterial blooms may reach the benthos in greater quantity than previously. Paper I found that meiofauna feed on settled cyanobacteria, yet suffer no increase in mortality. However, growth of meiofauna is significantly slower on a diet of cyanobacteria than when fed spring bloom diatoms, indicating that the studied cyanobacteria are nutritionally poor (Paper II). In Paper III we found that the presence of macrofauna reduces the access of meiofauna to settled organic matter, presumably through interference competition that increases when several macrofauna species are present. We also found that meiofaunal populations influence the provision of ecosystem services by benthic microbes. Paper IV shows that when meiofauna is abundant, mineralization of organic matter is positively affected, presumably through facilitation mechanisms. In contrast, paper V reports that degradation of the contaminant naphtalene decreases significantly at high meiofauna abundance.

In conclusion, this thesis shows that type and quality of organic matter available, as well as competition from macrofauna, affect how meiofauna grow and incorporate nutrients. Furthermore we found meiofauna to be an important functional component of the benthic ecosystem, with marked effects on ecosystem processes such as nutrient regeneration and contaminant degradation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 2010
Keyword
Meiofauna, Cyanobacteria, competition, facilitation, ecosystems processes
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Marine Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38809 (URN)978-91-7447-083-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-05-27, Högbomsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript. Paper 5: In press.

Available from: 2010-05-05 Created: 2010-04-29 Last updated: 2017-10-04Bibliographically approved
2. The importance of biodiversity for ecosystem processes in sediments: experimental examples from the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The importance of biodiversity for ecosystem processes in sediments: experimental examples from the Baltic Sea
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Betydelsen av biologisk mångfald för ekosystemprocesser i sediment : experimentella exempel från Östersjön
Abstract [en]

Aquatic sediments are, by surface, the largest habitat on Earth. A wide diversity of organisms inhabit these sediments and by their actions they have a large influence on and also mediate many ecosystem processes. Several of these processes, such as decomposition and remineralisation of organic matter are important on a global scale and are essential to sustain life on Earth. The main aim of this thesis was to use an experimental ecosystem ecology approach in order to study some of these ecosystem processes in marine sediments and how they are linked to biodiversity.

Paper I and II found that an increased species richness of sediment deposit feeders increases the processing of organic matter from phytoplankton settled on the sea-floor, and that species-rich communities have a more efficient resource utilization of deposited organic matter. The results in paper IV and V also suggest that there is a link between microbial diversity in sediments and the degradation of organic contaminants. Paper V also shows that antibiotic pollution is a potential threat to natural microbial diversity and microbially mediated ecosystem services. The introduction of invasive species to ecosystems is another major threat to biodiversity and was studied in Paper II and III, by investigating the ecology of Marenzelleria arctia, a polychaete worm recently introduced in the Baltic Sea. Paper II suggests that M. arctia mainly utilize food resources not used by native deposit feeders, thus potentially increasing the benthic production in the Baltic Sea by increasing resource use efficiency. Paper III, however, show that M. arctia is protected from predation by the native benthic invertebrate predators, due to its ability to burrow deep in the sediment, suggesting that predation on M. arctia by higher trophic levels is restricted, thereby limiting trophic transfer.

In conclusion, this thesis gives some examples of the importance of marine biodiversity for the generation of a few key ecosystem processes, such as organic matter processing and the degradation of harmful contaminants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 2010. 37 p.
Keyword
Biodiversity, Soft-bottom sediment, Ecosystem processes, Ecosystem function, Benthic-pelagic coupling, Baltic Sea, Trophic interactions, Pollutant biodegradation, Organic matter mineralization, Deposit feeder, Detritivore, Invasive species
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Marine Ecotoxicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38893 (URN)978-91-7447-087-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-06-04, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: In press. Available from: 2010-05-11 Created: 2010-05-03 Last updated: 2010-05-05Bibliographically approved

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