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Testing the functional redundancy of Limnodrilus and Tubifex (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae) in hyporheic sediments: an experimental study in microcosms

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Abstract:

Most tubificid worms are classified in the same functional group by their similar bioturbation and feeding activities in fine sediments of lakes. The objective of this study was to test the functional redundancy of two genera of tubificids (Limnodrilus and Tubifex) at two densities in coarse sediments using slow filtration columns. We measured the effects of the worms on particle redistribution, organic matter processing, nutrient fluxes, and microbial characteristics. The results showed that Limnodrilus and Tubifex created the same stimulation of aerobic and anaerobic microbial activities in the sediment. However, 50 Tubifex had a greater effect than 50 Limnodrilus on microbial processes. Furthermore, at a density of 100 oligochaetes per column, only Tubifex significantly increased particle redistribution and oxygen consumption in the first centimetre of the sediment. In contrast, Limnodrilus more often modified microbial activity in the deeper layers of the columns. The functional redundancy of the two genera of tubificid worms was validated by most measured processes. However, the variability within functional groups cannot be neglected because each genus had its functional peculiarity in the ecosystem.

En raison de leur mode de déplacement et d'alimentation dans les sédiments fins des lacs, la plupart des oligochètes tubificidés sont classés dans le même groupe fonctionnel. L'objectif de cette étude est de tester la redondance fonctionnelle entre deux genres de tubificidés (Limnodrilus et Tubifex) pour deux densités en organismes dans des sédiments grossiers en utilisant des colonnes infiltrantes. L'effet des vers est mesuré sur la redistribution des particules, la décomposition de la matière organique, les flux de nutriments et plusieurs paramètres microbiens. Les résultats indiquent que Limnodrilus et Tubifex produisent une stimulation des activités microbiennes aérobie et anaérobie dans le sédiment. Cependant, 50 Tubifex ont un effet plus important sur l'activité microbienne que 50 Limnodrilus. A une densité de 100 individus par colonne, seul Tubifex augmente significativement la redistribution des particules et la consommation en oxygène dans les premiers cm de sédiment. Au contraire, Limnodrilus semble être plus actif que Tubifex en profondeur. La redondance des deux genres de vers est validée par la plupart des processus mesurés. Cependant, la variabilité à l'intérieur des groupes fonctionnels ne peut être négligée car chaque genre a sa spécificité dans le fonctionnement de l'écosystème.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-09-01

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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