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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary Orchestia grillus efficiently feeds upon microorganisms attached to ingested Spartina alterniflora litter, but does not digest litter itself. Microorganisms respond to Orchestia grazing with increased metabolic activity, reflected in accelerated decomposition of the nitrogen fraction of litter and increased microbial biomass. Increased microbial activity may be partly a function of ammonia excretion and higher diffusion rate due to animal movement, but mainly it is a direct response to grazing. Microbial biomass increases with grazing because the pool of available nitrogen becomes larger. A model postulating interactions between Orchestria, Spartina litter and attached microorganisms is presented.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary 1. The renewal rate of resources exploited by a population influences carrying capacity and competitive interaction. A model of resource renewal is proposed where P is the fraction of the resource exploited at any given time, p the fraction exploited per day, and a the fraction remaining per day. At equilibrium, P=p/(1-a), and resource is always available if pü1-a. A logistic model of recovery is also proposed for living resources that are themselves limited by nutrients or space. 2. The models are used to predict carrying capacities of populations of the mud snail Hydrobia. The snail does not reingest its own fecal pellets until they have broken down. Pellet breakdown rate may therefore be a limiting factor to population size. Measured pelletization rates and fecal pellet breakdown rates predict densities within the range of natural Hydrobia populations. Pellet breakdown in this case is the renewable resource. As many natural sediments with deposit-feeders are completely pelletized we conclude that pellet breakdown rate is an important limiting factor to deposit-feeder density and that coprophagy may be avoided in deposit-feeding mollusks.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Genetic differentiation was investigated in the marine mussels Mytilus californianus Conrad and M. edulis Linn. from the west coast of North America. In allopatry with M. californianus, M. edulis occurs throughout the intertidal zone; however, in microgeographic sympatry its ecological range is restricted to above the M. californianus mussel bed and to patches of substratum opened by natural disturbances within the bed. Over the same geographic scale, the broader-niched M. edulis shows greater among-locality genetic difference and greater levels of polymorphism than M. californianus at two enzyme loci. Genetic differentiation on a geographic basis was investigated in M. californianus at a single rock (on a scale of meters), on an island (on a scale of kilometers), throughout a strait (on a scale of 102 kilometers), and along the west coast of North America (on a scale of 103 km). Differentiation was minimal over the west coast, and could be explained by microhabitat differences in a local area. The minimal differentiation in west coast mussels relative to strong geographic differentiation of M. edulis on the east coast of North America may be related to the steeper latitudinal thermal gradient on the east coast. Local ecologically related microgeographic variation can result in biased and misleading estimates of genetic heterogeneity but microgeographic variation at enzyme loci may not be due to selection at the loci investigated or may even be due to the breeding structure of the mussel populations, as suggested by Tracey et al. (1975).
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Small-scale population densities of tidal creek eastern mudsnails, Ilyanassa obsoleta Say (studied in 1986 and in 1992 at West Meadow Creek, Stony Brook, New York) corresponded more to variation in water flow velocity than to surface sediment chlorophyll a. Higher densities were found at low flow sites. Short-term behavioral responses are likely to be responsible for density variation. Experiments using laboratory flumes and field observations both demonstrated that the snails responded to strong flow by burrowing into the substratum. Burrowing may prevent dislodgment from the sediment surface, but it also appears to be disadvantageous since burrowed mudsnails have smaller amounts of food in their guts. Snails released in sites of periodic high flow conditions moved greater distances and were soon found near the quiet-water periphery of the creek, whereas snails released at the quiet-water periphery moved far less. It is not clear whether movement from the high flow site was through crawling or through hydrodynamic transport. Laboratory flume experiments demonstrated an active crawling movement towards areas of lower current velocity. This evidence suggests that strong bottom flow in the creek center results in a combined response of burial to avoid dislodgment and a net movement towards quiet water, which reduces exposure to the high velocity conditions of the creek center.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Cultures of asexually reproducing populations of the oligochaete Paranaislitoralis (Müller) collected from six different patches (3 to 50 m apart) on an intertidal mud flat in Flax Pond, New York, on two occasions, June and October 1993, showed significant differences among lines in life span, number of offspring produced, and in finite rate of increase (λ). Although growth rates were significantly lower in October than in June, they were always positive (λ 〉 1) in the laboratory cultures reared in field-collected sediment, while field data show that the densities of P. litoralis decreased sharply in summer and autumn from a seasonal high in early June. Cultures of worms reared at high densities without renewal of sediment crashed, and effects on individuals were irreversible: worms from late (declining) stages of population growth had a significantly higher mortality and lower reproduction than worms from earlier stages, also when transferred to high-quality food. Genetical analysis using RAPDs (random amplified polymorphic DNA) confirmed the existence of several clones of P. litoralis in our cultures. Experiments where parent and offspring were cultured in sediments of different qualities showed clone–environment interactions in the number of asexual offspring produced, but not in age at first reproduction. Clones also differed in that some showed significant parental effects of sediment quality on life-history characteristics while other clones did not. Our results indicate that P.litoralis populations in Flax Pond are not an example of a population subdivided into a set of permanent source and sink subpopulations, but rather an example of a continuously shifting mosaic of local growth conditions.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Levels of genetic polymorphism were surveyed at two enzyme loci (LAP, PGI) in 2 intertidal and 6 subtidal species of the bivalve genus Macoma living in the waters of the San Juan Islands (Washington and Canada). The temporal environmental variability-genetic variability hypothesis predicts that intettidal species should have greater levels of genetic polymorphism than subtidal species. This is not true for the genus Macoma. However, at the PGI locus, genetic polymorphism was proportional to niche breadth in both the intertidal and subtidal species, but only for intertidal species at the LAP locus. These results support the contention that temporal environmental variability is not necessarily important in maintaining genetic variability, but that environmental heterogeneity may select for increased polymorphism at some loci.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract We demonstrate the presence of significant genetically based differentiation in growth rate (μg dry weight d-1) and reproductive traits (percent reproductive females and mean clutch size μg dry weight-1) among females of an harpacticoid copepod (Crustacea),Scottolana canadensis (Willey), taken from a broad range of latitudes and reared in the laboratory under the same conditions. As temperature increases (15°–25° C), the growth rate of southern-derived copepods continues to increase, while that of northern-derived copepods levels off or decreases. Southern-derivedS. canadensis also have a higher percentage of reproducing females at high temperature (25°C) when rations (cells ml-1) are reduced, while northern-derived females are at an advantage at low temperature (15°C). Both life-history traits indicate local adaptation to maximize scope for growth and reproduction at prevailing temperatures. The data support our hypothesis that evolution has occurred to maximize feeding minus metabolic energy expended, and that this maximization requires changes in feeding efficiency with differing temperatures.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract We studied the relationship between particle-size selectivity and variable particle-size distribution in the American mud snail Hydrobia totteni Morrison (Prosobranchia: Hydrobiidae) collected in the summer of 1979 and 1982, from saltmarsh mudflats at Flax Pond, Old Field, New York, USA. Using individual size fractions of native sediment, snails fed fastest on intermediate-sized particles (41 to 63 μm); this pattern was related to diatom abundance, which was similarly greatest on the intermediate particle-size classes. These results conform to another study, which found a quite different relationship between feeding rate and particle size, but a similarly strong correlation between particle size and diatom abundance. Snails were fed a range of particle-size distributions of glass beads. As median particle size increased, preference shifted towards smaller particles. This shift cannot be explained by feeding rates determined from individual particle-size classes. The most reasonable alternative model is a shift towards feeding on fine particles that occur among the coarser particles that are not ingested. Our data suggest that diatom growth on certain particle sizes is as important to particle selectivity as the particle sizes themselves. Particle size preference cannot be extrapolated from studies of feeding rates on individual size classes since selectivity is qualitatively different in mixtures of various size classes.
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Many species of tellinacean bivalves mainly deposit-feed but are also known to vary their feeding behavior in response to predation and to the availability of suspended organic matter relative to that of sedimentary organic matter. This study showed that three species of the Pacific genusMacoma (Macoma nasuta Conrad, 1937,Macoma secta Conrad, 1837, andMacoma inquinata Deshayes, 1855, from the San Juan Islands, Washington, USA) varied their deposit-feeding behavior in response to water flow near the sediment-water interface and to sediment transport. In the summers of 1987, 1988 and 1989, water velocity was varied in a large racetrack flume, in order to change both water velocity and bottom sediment transport. In quiet water, the inhalant siphon was protruded far from the siphon hole. As water velocity increased, with little or no sediment transport, the deposit-feeding radius decreased. Qualitative observations suggested that this was related to the drag on the siphon. InM. secta, the distance of siphon protrusion was not related to body size. Under conditions of higher near-bottom water velocity, combined with bottom sediment transport, some individuals ceased to deposit-feed, while others sustained feeding by ingesting sediment within the siphon hole, at least 1 cm beneath the sediment-water interface. These results suggest that hydrodynamic conditions are a major determinant of feeding behavior, and previous explanations of variable feeding behavior as a response to predation may have to be adjusted to accommodate this expanded set of responses.
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Benthic particle feeders are exposed to a food supply varying in both quantity and quality. Previous studies have shown that bivalve molluscs deal with such fluctuating particle regimes in a variety of ways, including adjustments in pumping and ingestion rates, and selective rejection of non-nutritive particles as pseudofeces. The actual site of particle selection within the pallial cavity, however, has remained a topic of speculation. During August 1995 and January and August 1996, we exposed the oysters Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin) and C. gigas (Thunberg), and the mussel Mytilus trossulus Gould to a mixture of ground, aged Spartina alterniflora Loisel and similar-sized phytoplankton at three concentrations (103, 104, 105 particles ml−1). We then examined the ctenidia and labial palps by means of endoscopy and sampled, in vivo, the particulate material from various ciliated tracts, and analyzed the samples with a flow cytometer. We found that in oysters, the ctenidia are responsible for particle sorting, whereas the labial palps play an accessory role in particle selection, or function to control the volume of material to be ingested. In mussels, however, the ctenidia play little role in particle selection and simply transport particulate matter to the palps for further processing. We suggest that selection by the ctenidia of oysters is a function of their architecture (plicate, heterorhabdic).
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