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Contrasting Effects of Bioturbation Studied in Intact and Reconstructed Estuarine Sediments

Benthic Metabolism in Fluvial Sediments with Larvae of Lampetra sp.

Marine Research Institute, Klaipėda University, 92294 Klaipėda, Lithuania
Department of Chemistry, Life Science and Environmental Sustainability, Parma University, 43124 Parma, Italy
Water Research Institute (CNR-IRSA) National Research Council, 28922 Verbania Pallanza, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas Hein
Water 2021, 13(7), 1002;
Received: 11 March 2021 / Revised: 29 March 2021 / Accepted: 5 April 2021 / Published: 6 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Macrobiota in Aquatic Nutrient Cycling)
Lampreys spend their larval stage within fine sand fluvial sediments, where they burrow and act as filter feeders. Lamprey larvae (ammocoetes) can significantly affect benthic-pelagic coupling and nutrient cycling in rivers, due to high densities. However, their bioturbation, feeding and excretion activities are still poorly explored. These aspects were investigated by means of laboratory incubations of intact sediments added with ammocoetes and of animals alone. Oxygen respiration, nutrient fluxes and excretion rates were determined. Individual ammocoete incubations suggested that biomass-specific oxygen consumption and ammonium, reactive phosphorus and silica excretion were size-dependent, and greater in small compared to large individuals. The comparison of ammocoetes metabolic rates with rates measured in intact sediments revealed that ammocoetes activity decreases significantly when they are burrowed in sediments. Furthermore, results suggest that a major fraction of ammonium excreted by ammocoetes was assimilated by benthic microbes or microalgae to overcome in situ N-limitation. Alternatively, part of the excreted ammonium was oxidized and denitrified within sediments, as nitrate uptake rather increased along with ammocoetes density. Ammocoetes excreted reactive phosphorus and silica but such production was not apparent in bioturbated sediments, likely due to microbial or microalgal uptake or to immobilization in sediments. View Full-Text
Keywords: ammocoetes; sediments; bioturbation; metabolism; fluxes; engineering species ammocoetes; sediments; bioturbation; metabolism; fluxes; engineering species
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nika, N.; Zilius, M.; Ruginis, T.; Giordani, G.; Bagdonas, K.; Benelli, S.; Bartoli, M. Benthic Metabolism in Fluvial Sediments with Larvae of Lampetra sp. Water 2021, 13, 1002.

AMA Style

Nika N, Zilius M, Ruginis T, Giordani G, Bagdonas K, Benelli S, Bartoli M. Benthic Metabolism in Fluvial Sediments with Larvae of Lampetra sp. Water. 2021; 13(7):1002.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nika, Nerijus, Mindaugas Zilius, Tomas Ruginis, Gianmarco Giordani, Kasparas Bagdonas, Sara Benelli, and Marco Bartoli. 2021. "Benthic Metabolism in Fluvial Sediments with Larvae of Lampetra sp." Water 13, no. 7: 1002.

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