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Free Content Changes in Composition and Nutritional Value to a Benthic Deposit Feeder of Decomposing Detritus Pools

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Both relative concentrations and absolute content of major nutritional components of detritus pools derived from seaweed and marshgrass were followed during decomposition in laboratory microcosms. Detritus derived from seaweed quickly decomposed, with rate of loss of energy and nitrogen content and food value to Capitella capitata closely following each other. Detritus derived from marshgrass decayed slower. Energy and nitrogen changes were uncoupled. For many months, there was a slow decline in the total caloric content but no change in the low available caloric content/low nitrogen content with time. Food value to C. capitata was poor and unchanged. Only after a long period of “aging” did increases in nitrogen content, incorporated from the aquatic medium, and increases in available energy, as a result of decomposition of structural polymers, result in increased nutritive value to C. capitata.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1984-11-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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