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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Vertical disturbance of sediments by horseshoe crabs ( Limulus polyphemus ) during their spawning season

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Springer (journals)
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  • John N. Kraeuter 1
  • Stephen R. Fegley 2
  • 1) Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers University, RD #1 Box B-8, 08349-9736, Port Norris, New Jersey
  • 2) Corning School of Ocean Studies, Maine Maritime Academy, 04420, Castine, Maine

Biological and physical reworking of sediments can profoundly affect the structure and functioning of benthic communities. The depth of the disturbance is an important factor that controls the types of organisms that can exist within the sediments. Large numbers of horseshoe crabs,Limulus polyphemus, spawn each spring on the sandy shores of Delaware Bay beaches. We have used this abundance peak to provide an estimate of the depth of sediment disruption caused by this species on an intertidal flat adjoining a major spawning beach. Vertical columns of marked sediment were placed in three locations of an intertidal flat. Some columns were protected with cages while others remained unprotected. Analysis of variance of the depth of disruption of the marked sediment indicated that different areas of the intertidal zone were disrupted to different depths. Caged marked sediment was disturbed to an average depth of 3.2 cm while unprotected sediment was disturbed to a mean depth of 11.1 cm. Deepest mixing occurred in a trough between sandwave crests and averaged 17.7 cm deep. These mixing depths are greater than the 1.2 cm deep disturbance produced by nonstorm wave action in the study area.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - biology
  • 3 - marine biology & hydrobiology
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - psychologie. psychophysiologie
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - General Environmental Science
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Environmental Chemistry
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