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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 137:83-93 (1996)  -  doi:10.3354/meps137083

Enrichment experiments and infaunal population cycles on a Southern California sand plain: response of the leptostracan Nebalia daytoni and other infauna

Vetter EW

Field studies on the effects of pulsed enrichments were carried out on macrofaunal invertebrates inhabiting the sandy bottom at a depth of about 20 m off the coast of Southern California, USA. Contrary to expectation, no members of the community studied responded positively to patches artificially enriched with organic material (kelp, fertilizer, or parcels of fish flesh). Although other members of the leptostracan genus Nebalia respond favorably to carrion and heavily enriched conditions, N. daytoni, one of the most common animals at the study site, showed no response to the enrichments. All other members of the infaunal community declined in abundance in enriched plots, although the opportunistic polychaete Capitella sp. recruited heavily into them. In the unenriched habitat, seasonal cycles of abundance were evident for most groups of macrofaunal invertebrates, but were especially strong for amphipods and N. daytoni.

Nebalia . Capitella . Organic enrichment . Seasonal cycles

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