The colonization of artificially created aggregates of the mussel Mytilus edulis by organisms that inhabit an intertidal sand and mud flat was studied in a field experiment. The sediment of 40 experimental plots was cleared of macrofauna. Thirty of these plots were covered with fishing nets, on which either live mussels (ten plots, type M) or mussel dummies (ten plots, type D) were placed; on ten plots, the nets were left empty (type Z). The remaining ten plots without nets but with a cleared surface (type E) were the control. For comparison, samples were taken from the ambient intact community. After 16 days of exposure, the community on the plots differed from the ambient one. In the E-Z-D-M series, only 7 out of 29 taxa that were found in the samples differed significantly in abundance. Chironomid larvae, adults, and spat of M. edulis and Mya arenaria were most abundant on the plots with a hard substrate (Z, D, M). Adult Jaera sp., Oligochaeta, Littorina saxatilis, and Nemertea were more abundant on the type M plots. The abundance of spat of Macoma balthica and Hydrobia ulvae did not differ significantly. The results indicate that the biological activity of mussels M. edulis in dense assemblages facilitated immigration of adult animals of other species. The M. edulis aggregates either had no influence on the spat of mollusks or they attracted it as a hard substrate for settlement.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 30, 2014
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