Effects of algal enrichment and salinity on sediment particle reworking activity and associated nutrient generation mediated by the intertidal polychaete Hediste diversicolor

Fiona Murray, Martin Solan, Alex Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The activities of marine benthic invertebrates link to many ecosystem properties and are often used as an alternative to the direct measurement of ecosystem functioning, such as nutrient cycling. However, links between bioturbation metrics and functional classifications of organisms based on bioturbation mode are rarely tested under a range of circumstances and are commonly assumed to be universally applicable. In this study we examine the effects of particle reworking by the polychaete Hediste diversicolor on the mediation of nutrient concentrations for a range of salinity and sediment algal enrichment levels. Sediment particle reworking increased in the presence of moderate algal enrichment but was reduced at higher levels of algal enrichment and was not affected by salinity. Nutrient concentrations in the water column, however, responded to the independent effects of salinity and algal enrichment. This study demonstrates that variation in particle reworking and mixing activity of H. diversicolor that relate to changes in environmental condition can be sufficient to alter species contributions to ecosystem functioning without altering the mechanistic basis of mediation. Our findings indicate that faunal processes that lead to changes in ecosystem functioning can be differentially expressed in a dynamic environment, and call for more careful consideration in the design and analysis of experiments that attempt to link the functional role of species to ecosystem properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Volume495
Early online date12 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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polychaete
reworking
Polychaeta
salinity
sediments
ecosystems
nutrient
ecosystem
nutrients
bioturbation
sediment
nutrient content
functional role
nutrient cycling
biogeochemical cycles
water column
invertebrate
invertebrates
environmental conditions
effect

Keywords

  • ecosystem function
  • bioturbation
  • functional groups
  • functional traits
  • intraspecific variation
  • Hediste diversicolor

Cite this

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title = "Effects of algal enrichment and salinity on sediment particle reworking activity and associated nutrient generation mediated by the intertidal polychaete Hediste diversicolor",
abstract = "The activities of marine benthic invertebrates link to many ecosystem properties and are often used as an alternative to the direct measurement of ecosystem functioning, such as nutrient cycling. However, links between bioturbation metrics and functional classifications of organisms based on bioturbation mode are rarely tested under a range of circumstances and are commonly assumed to be universally applicable. In this study we examine the effects of particle reworking by the polychaete Hediste diversicolor on the mediation of nutrient concentrations for a range of salinity and sediment algal enrichment levels. Sediment particle reworking increased in the presence of moderate algal enrichment but was reduced at higher levels of algal enrichment and was not affected by salinity. Nutrient concentrations in the water column, however, responded to the independent effects of salinity and algal enrichment. This study demonstrates that variation in particle reworking and mixing activity of H. diversicolor that relate to changes in environmental condition can be sufficient to alter species contributions to ecosystem functioning without altering the mechanistic basis of mediation. Our findings indicate that faunal processes that lead to changes in ecosystem functioning can be differentially expressed in a dynamic environment, and call for more careful consideration in the design and analysis of experiments that attempt to link the functional role of species to ecosystem properties.",
keywords = "ecosystem function, bioturbation, functional groups, functional traits, intraspecific variation, Hediste diversicolor",
author = "Fiona Murray and Martin Solan and Alex Douglas",
note = "Acknowledgements We thank Val Johnson, Erika Corbett, Nick Pooley, Will Gilbertson, Jessica Craig and Niels Jobstvogt for technical assistance in the field, Robert Murray for assistance with experimental logistics and Ken Cruickshank and Annette Moran for nutrient analysis. This study was supported by a NERC studentship (awarded to F.M, grant reference NE/H524481/1).",
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T1 - Effects of algal enrichment and salinity on sediment particle reworking activity and associated nutrient generation mediated by the intertidal polychaete Hediste diversicolor

AU - Murray, Fiona

AU - Solan, Martin

AU - Douglas, Alex

N1 - Acknowledgements We thank Val Johnson, Erika Corbett, Nick Pooley, Will Gilbertson, Jessica Craig and Niels Jobstvogt for technical assistance in the field, Robert Murray for assistance with experimental logistics and Ken Cruickshank and Annette Moran for nutrient analysis. This study was supported by a NERC studentship (awarded to F.M, grant reference NE/H524481/1).

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N2 - The activities of marine benthic invertebrates link to many ecosystem properties and are often used as an alternative to the direct measurement of ecosystem functioning, such as nutrient cycling. However, links between bioturbation metrics and functional classifications of organisms based on bioturbation mode are rarely tested under a range of circumstances and are commonly assumed to be universally applicable. In this study we examine the effects of particle reworking by the polychaete Hediste diversicolor on the mediation of nutrient concentrations for a range of salinity and sediment algal enrichment levels. Sediment particle reworking increased in the presence of moderate algal enrichment but was reduced at higher levels of algal enrichment and was not affected by salinity. Nutrient concentrations in the water column, however, responded to the independent effects of salinity and algal enrichment. This study demonstrates that variation in particle reworking and mixing activity of H. diversicolor that relate to changes in environmental condition can be sufficient to alter species contributions to ecosystem functioning without altering the mechanistic basis of mediation. Our findings indicate that faunal processes that lead to changes in ecosystem functioning can be differentially expressed in a dynamic environment, and call for more careful consideration in the design and analysis of experiments that attempt to link the functional role of species to ecosystem properties.

AB - The activities of marine benthic invertebrates link to many ecosystem properties and are often used as an alternative to the direct measurement of ecosystem functioning, such as nutrient cycling. However, links between bioturbation metrics and functional classifications of organisms based on bioturbation mode are rarely tested under a range of circumstances and are commonly assumed to be universally applicable. In this study we examine the effects of particle reworking by the polychaete Hediste diversicolor on the mediation of nutrient concentrations for a range of salinity and sediment algal enrichment levels. Sediment particle reworking increased in the presence of moderate algal enrichment but was reduced at higher levels of algal enrichment and was not affected by salinity. Nutrient concentrations in the water column, however, responded to the independent effects of salinity and algal enrichment. This study demonstrates that variation in particle reworking and mixing activity of H. diversicolor that relate to changes in environmental condition can be sufficient to alter species contributions to ecosystem functioning without altering the mechanistic basis of mediation. Our findings indicate that faunal processes that lead to changes in ecosystem functioning can be differentially expressed in a dynamic environment, and call for more careful consideration in the design and analysis of experiments that attempt to link the functional role of species to ecosystem properties.

KW - ecosystem function

KW - bioturbation

KW - functional groups

KW - functional traits

KW - intraspecific variation

KW - Hediste diversicolor

U2 - 10.1016/j.jembe.2017.06.002

DO - 10.1016/j.jembe.2017.06.002

M3 - Article

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