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Free Content Benthic community metabolism and the role of deposit-feeding callianassid shrimp

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In temperate and tropical seas, bioturbation resulting from the burrowing and feeding activities of deposit-feeding callianassid shrimp can have an important impact on the ecosystem. In Gorda Sound, British Virgin Islands, 97 mol NH4 ˙ m−2 ˙ d−1 and 0.2 mol PO4 ˙ m−2 ˙ d−1 were released to the water column from burrows of callianassid shrimps (Callianassa rathbunae and Calliax Jonesi). Benthic gross primary production was 288 mg C ˙ m−2 ˙ d−1 and the ratio of gross production to total community 24-hr. respiration was 0.86. The flux of dissolved nutrients released from shrimp burrows could supply less than 5% of the need calculated for benthic primary production, while the net flux from the total benthic community could support 21% of the estimated demand. Stable carbon isotope measurements indicated that these callianassid shrimp derive 100% of their nutritional requirements from benthic microflora.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1992

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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