Skip to main content

Free Content Sediment bioturbation and impact of feeding activity of Holothuria (Halodeima) atra and Stichopus chloronotus, two sediment feeding holothurians, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef

Download Article:
 Download
(PDF 73.6220703125 kb)
 

Abstract:

In aquarium experiments and during field observations, Holothuria (Halodeima) atra (Jaeger, 1883) and Stichopus chloronotus (Brandt, 1835) consumed an average of 67 and 59 g dry wt of sediment individual−1 d−1, respectively. A model calculation showed that a mixed population of both species on a reef flat near Lizard Island, GBR has the potential to rework about 4600 kg dry wt yr−1 1000 m−2 which is approximately the weight of the upper 5 mm of sediment in this area. Gut content analyses showed no significant decrease in phycopigments (chlorophylls a and c and fucoxanthin) during gut passage. In both species the oesophagus pigment content was similar to the concentration in sediments directly in front of the individuals. However, pigment content in front of S. chloronotus and in all gut segments of this species were significantly higher than the corresponding values in H. atra suggesting patch selectivity in the former species. Extremely low meiofauna contents in holothurian guts indicated that meiofauna play a negligible part in the nutrition of H. atra and S. chloronotus. In contrast, the ratio of living to dead diatoms was significantly lower in the guts of both holothurian species compared to the adjacent sediment, indicating digestion of the ingested diatoms. In aquarium experiments, feeding and bioturbation activity of both species significantly reduced microalgal biomass (measured as chlorophyll a concentrations) in sediments inoculated with diatoms or cyanobacterial mats.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-01-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more