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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 632:27-42 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13165

Macrofaunal irrigation traits enhance predictability of nutrient fluxes across the sediment-water interface

Alexa Wrede1,2,3,4,7,*, Henrike Andresen1,3,6, Ragnhild Asmus2, Karen Helen Wiltshire1,2,5, Thomas Brey1,2,4

1Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
2Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Wattenmeerstation Sylt, Hafenstraße 43, 25992 List, Germany
3Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstraße 231, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany
4University Bremen, Bibliothekstraße 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
5Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Am Binnenhafen 1117, 27498 Helgoland, Germany
6Present address: Thünen Institute, Institute of Sea Fisheries, Herwigstraße 31, 27572 Bremerhaven, Germany
7Present address: Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht Center for Materials and Coastal Research, Max-Planck Str. 1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: This study shows that macrofaunal irrigation traits constitute a valuable complement to sediment reworking traits in estimating macrofaunal impact on nutrient fluxes across the sediment-water interface. We correlated density, biomass, community bioturbation potential (BPc, an index based on reworking traits, body mass and density) and community irrigation potential (IPc, an index based on irrigation traits, body mass and density) with nitrite, nitrate, ammonium, silicate and phosphate flux data under different environmental conditions. Generalized linear models performed best with a combination of environmental conditions and irrigation trait-based indices. This was not only a direct effect of the irrigation traits, but also of the scaling factor 0.75 employed in IPc to infer metabolic activity from body mass. Accordingly, predictive models of nutrient flux across the sediment-water interface will profit greatly from incorporating macrofaunal irrigation behaviour by means of trait-based indices.


KEY WORDS: Bioirrigation · Bioturbation · Functional traits · Ecosystem functioning


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Cite this article as: Wrede A, Andresen H, Asmus R, Wiltshire KH, Brey T (2019) Macrofaunal irrigation traits enhance predictability of nutrient fluxes across the sediment-water interface. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 632:27-42. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13165

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