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MEPS 347:51-60 (2007)  -  DOI:

Benthic community respiration in areas impacted by the invasive mollusk Crepidula fornicata

Sophie Martin1,2,*, Gérard Thouzeau3, Marion Richard3, Laurent Chauvaud3, Frédéric Jean3, Jacques Clavier3

1Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
2Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris VI, 06234 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
3Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Environment Marin, UMR CNRS 6539, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Technopôle Brest-Iroise, Place Nicolas Copernic, 29280 Plouzané, France

ABSTRACT: The American slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata L. has been an invasive species in European bays and estuaries since the 1950s and can reach densities up to several thousands of individuals m–2. The objective of this study was to estimate the impact of C. fornicata on benthic community metabolism by comparing 2 contrasting sites with high (>1000 ind. m–2) and low (<200 ind. m–2) densities in the Bay of Brest (Brittany, France). Measurements of dissolved oxygen (DO) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) fluxes at the water–sediment interface were investigated using benthic chambers. Community respiration (CR) was 1.5- to 3-fold higher at the station with high densities, where it varied from 1.5 mmol C m–2 h–1 in winter to 5.9 mmol C m–2 h–1 in summer, and, considering C. fornicata biomass, from 0.7 mmol C g–1 dry wt h–1 in winter to 3.3 mmol C g–1 dry wt h–1 in summer. CR was mainly controlled by C. fornicata biomass, temperature, and chl a concentration in the water column. Community respiratory quotients (CRQ = |CRDIC / CRDO|) were 0.74 in winter–spring and 1.38 in summer–autumn. Annual CR averaged 440 g C m–2 yr–1 at the highly colonized station, and 180 g C m–2 yr–1 at the station displaying low density of C. fornicata. The estimated annual CR for an average density of 260 ind. m–2 in the whole Bay of Brest was 220 g C m–2 yr–1, which was higher than the carbon production of the overlying phytoplankton and microphytobenthos in the bay. C. fornicata is thus considered a source of carbon influencing partial pressure of CO2 in seawater and favoring CO2 effluxes to the atmosphere.

KEY WORDS: Benthic community respiration · Carbon cycling · Invasive species · Crepidula fornicata · Water–sediment interface

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Cite this article as: Martin S, Thouzeau G, Richard M, Chauvaud L, Jean F, Clavier J (2007) Benthic community respiration in areas impacted by the invasive mollusk Crepidula fornicata. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 347:51-60.

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