EFFECT OF MEIOFAUNA ON BENTHIC ELEMENT CYCLING IN A BALTIC SEA COASTAL AREA
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
We have studied the role of meiofaunal communities for nutrient cycling and organic matter mineralization in coastal sediments of the Baltic Sea. Although meiofauna is orders of magnitude more abundant than macrofauna and has commonly a much more diverse community structure, its importance for sediment biogeochemical pathways is poorly understood because of objective experimental difficulties when manipulating meiofauna communities due to small body sizes (0.04 to 1 mm) and inherent fragility. We used a density extraction method to separate intact and living metazoans from sediment and tested the effect of low meiofauna and high meiofauna abundances in the presence and absence of macrofauna for exchange rates of nutrients, O2, DIC, N2, and CH4. High abundances of meiofauna stimulated O2 uptake and the net N2 efflux by 16% and 34%, respectively, but did not change oxygen penetration depths significantly. By contrast, macrofauna increased oxygen penetration depths by 21% and stimulated methane emissions by a factor of 8. These results demonstrate the importance of meiofauna in the regulation of aerobic and anaerobic microbial processes and benthic fluxes in marine sediments.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. 97- p.
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject Marine Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97288OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-97288DiVA: diva2:676495
ASLO 2013 Aquatic Science Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana
FunderEcosystem Approach to the Baltic Sea