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The role ofCallianassa subterranea(Montagu) (THALASSINIDEA) in sediment resuspension in the North Sea

Authors
Journal
Continental Shelf Research
0278-4343
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
18
Issue
11
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0278-4343(98)00048-x

Abstract

Abstract The mud shrimp Callianassa subterranea (Montagu) is a common member of the macrobenthic community at the site in the North Sea selected to study the dynamics of suspended sediment behaviour. The extensive burrowing habit of this deposit-feeding species makes it an important contributor to the degree of bioturbation experienced at the site. Individuals recovered from the site were returned to the laboratory to investigate the influence of body size and temperature upon the amount of sediment expelled. A clear relationship between these variables and the quantity of expelled sediment was identified, and a well-defined temporal pattern of expulsion activity and inactivity was demonstrated. These experimental data, together with field information on seawater temperatures and aspects of mud shrimp population dynamics, allow the construction of an estimated annual sediment turnover budget of 11 kg (dry weight) m -2 yr -1. Field observations at the North Sea site show that the sediment expelled by the mud shrimp forms unconsolidated volcano-like mounds, which significantly modify seabed surface topography. The dimensions of these surface features were measured from bottom photographs of the site and used to determine values of boundary roughness length ( Zo). In January Zo was 0.0007 cm, whilst in September Zo equaled 0.79 cm. Callianassa subterranea’s maximum contribution to resuspension was assessed by calculating a derived lateral sediment transport rate of 7 kg m -1 month -1 (from values of near-bed current velocity, modified boundary roughness length and sediment turnover rate).

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