Survival and bioturbation effects of common marine macrofauna in coastal soils newly flooded with seawater

Thomas Bruun Valdemarsen, Cintia Organo Quintana, Sandra Walløe Thorsen, Erik Kristensen

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Low-lying coastal soils are at risk of being permanently flooded due to global sea level rise, but how will these areas develop as habitat for marine species? We conducted an experiment to evaluate the habitat quality of flooded soils for common marine polychaetes (Marenzelleria viridis, Nereis diversicolor and Scoloplos armiger). Soil cores were collected at Gyldensteen Beach (Northern Fyn, Denmark), where a 200 ha area is designated for flooding as part of a nature restoration project. Soils cores were experimentally flooded for 1 month before adding polychaetes. We measured the effect of polychaetes on CO2 and nutrient fluxes for 4 weeks, and by the end quantified survival and bioirrigation activity. Results show that polychaetes stimulate benthic metabolism and nutrient release in flooded soil and therefore accelerate the transformation of soils into sediments. Furthermore it appears that some species (M. viridis) show decreased bioirrigation activity and avoidance behavior when exposed to flooded soil, while others (N. diversicolor and S. armiger) showed high survival and unaffected bioirrigation activity. Overall it appears that flooded coastal soils can rapidly support diverse communities of macrofauna.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventASLO: Aquatic Science meeting - Granada, Spain
Duration: 22. Feb 201527. Mar 2015



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