Sediment reworking by the burrowing polychaete Hediste diversicolor modulated by environmental and biological factors across the temperate North Atlantic. A tribute to Gaston Desrosiers

Franck Gilbert*, Erik Kristensen, Robert C. Aller, Gary T. Banta, Philippe Archambault, Rénald Belley, Luca G. Bellucci, Lois Calder, Philippe Cuny, Xavier de Montaudouin, Susanne P. Eriksson, Stefan Forster, Patrick Gillet, Jasmin A. Godbold, Ronnie N. Glud, Jonas Gunnarsson, Stefan Hulth, Stina Lindqvist, Anthony Maire, Emma MichaudKarl Norling, Judith Renz, Martin Solan, Michael Townsend, Nils Volkenborn, Stephen Widdicombe, Georges Stora

*Corresponding author

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Particle mixing and irrigation of the seabed by benthic fauna (bioturbation) have major impacts on ecosystem functions such as remineralization of organic matter and sediment-water exchange. As a tribute to Prof. Gaston Desrosiers by the Nereis Park association, eighteen laboratories carried out a collaborative experiment to acquire a global snapshot of particle reworking by the polychaete Hediste diversicolor at 16 sites surrounding the Northern Atlantic. Organisms and soft sediments were collected during May – July at different geographical locations and, using a common laboratory protocol, particulate fluorescent tracers (‘luminophores’) were used to quantify particle transport over a 10-day period. Particle mixing was quantified using the maximum penetration depth of tracers (MPD), particle diffusive coefficients (Db), and non-local transport coefficients (r). Non-local coefficients (reflecting centimeter scale transport steps) ranged from 0.4 to 15 yr−1, and were not correlated across sites with any measured biological (biomass, biovolume) or environmental parameters (temperature, grain size, organic matter). Maximum penetration depths (MPD) averaged ~10.7 cm (6.5–14.5 cm), and were similar to the global average bioturbation depth inferred from short-lived radiochemical tracers. MPD was also not correlated with measures of size (individual biomass), but increased with grain size and decreased with temperature. Biodiffusion (Db) correlated inversely with individual biomass (size) and directly with temperature over the environmental range (Q10 ~ 1.7; 5–21 °C). The transport data were comparable in magnitude to rates reported for localized H. diversicolor populations of similar size, and confirmed some but not all correlations between sediment reworking and biological and environmental variables found in previous studies. The results imply that measures of particle reworking activities of a species from a single location can be generally extrapolated to different populations at similar conditions.

TidsskriftJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2021

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