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Effects of coexistence between the blue mussel and eelgrass on sediment biogeochemistry and plant performance
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
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2012 (English)In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 447, 139-149 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The habitat-modifying suspension-feeding mussel Mytilus edulis may have facilitating or inhibiting effects on seagrass meadows depending on the environmental conditions. We investigated the effects of M. edulis on sediment biogeochemistry in Zostera marina meadows under eutrophic conditions in Flensborg fjord, Denmark. Sediment and plant samples were collected at 5 stations with Z. marina (Eelgrass), 5 with Z. marina and M. edulis (Mixed), and at 2 unvegetated ones, 1 with mussels (Mussel) and 1 with sand (Sand). The Mixed sediment was en riched in fine particles (2 to 3 times), nutrients and sulphides compared to Eelgrass stations. In creased sediment nutrient availability at the Mixed stations was reflected in increased N and P content in eelgrass. However, the plant biomass did not differ significantly between stations, while shoot features (number of leaves and leaf area) were significantly reduced at Mixed stations, suggesting an inhibiting effect of M. edulis on Z. marina. Negative correlations between eelgrass measures and sediment sulphide at Mixed stations indicate that the presence of mussels increases sulphide invasion in the plants. A survey of 318 stations in Danish fjords suggests a threshold of 1.6 kg M. edulis m(-2) beyond which no coexistence between Z. marina and M. edulis was found.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 447, 139-149 p.
Keyword [en]
Mytilus edulis, Zostera marina, Coexistence, Eutrophication, Organic content, Total reducible sulphide, Seagrass, Suspension feeders
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-76754DOI: 10.3354/meps09505ISI: 000300660600010OAI: diva2:527193
5Available from: 2012-05-18 Created: 2012-05-16 Last updated: 2012-05-18Bibliographically approved

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