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.
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