Changes in macrofaunal biological traits across estuarine gradients

implications for the coastal nutrient filter

Anna Villnäs, Urzsula Janas, Alf B. Josefson, Halina Kendzierska, Henrik Nygård, Joanna Norkko, Alf Norkko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Benthic macrofaunal communities have a profound impact on organic matter turnover and nutrient cycling in marine sediments. Their activities are of particular importance in the coastal filter, where nutrients and organic matter from land are transformed and/or retained before reaching the open sea. The benthic fauna modify the coastal filter directly (through consumption, respiration, excretion and biomass production) and indirectly (through bioturbation). It is hard to experimentally quantify faunal contribution to the coastal filter over large spatial and temporal scales that encompass significant environmental and biological heterogeneity. However, estimates can be obtained with biological trait analyses. By using benthic biological traits, we explored how the potential contribution of macrofaunal communities to the coastal filter differ
between inner and outer sites in an extensive archipelago area and examine the generality of the observed pattern across contrasting coastal areas of the entire Baltic Sea. Estimates of benthic bioturbation, longevity and size (i.e. ‘stability’) and total energy and nutrient contents differed between coastal areas and inner versus outer sites. Benthic traits indicative of an enhanced nutrient turnover but a decreased capacity for temporal nutrient retention dominated inner sites, while
outer sites were often dominated by larger individuals, exhibiting traits that are likely to enhance nutrient uptake and retention. The overarching similarities in benthic trait expression between more eutrophied inner vs. less affected outer coastal sites across the Baltic Sea suggest that benthic communities might contribute in a similar manner to nutrient recycling and retention in the
coastal filter over large geographical scales.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Ecology. Progress Series
Volume622
Pages (from-to)31-48
ISSN0171-8630
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

Cite this

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title = "Changes in macrofaunal biological traits across estuarine gradients: implications for the coastal nutrient filter",
abstract = "Benthic macrofaunal communities have a profound impact on organic matter turnover and nutrient cycling in marine sediments. Their activities are of particular importance in the coastal filter, where nutrients and organic matter from land are transformed and/or retained before reaching the open sea. The benthic fauna modify the coastal filter directly (through consumption, respiration, excretion and biomass production) and indirectly (through bioturbation). It is hard to experimentally quantify faunal contribution to the coastal filter over large spatial and temporal scales that encompass significant environmental and biological heterogeneity. However, estimates can be obtained with biological trait analyses. By using benthic biological traits, we explored how the potential contribution of macrofaunal communities to the coastal filter differbetween inner and outer sites in an extensive archipelago area and examine the generality of the observed pattern across contrasting coastal areas of the entire Baltic Sea. Estimates of benthic bioturbation, longevity and size (i.e. ‘stability’) and total energy and nutrient contents differed between coastal areas and inner versus outer sites. Benthic traits indicative of an enhanced nutrient turnover but a decreased capacity for temporal nutrient retention dominated inner sites, whileouter sites were often dominated by larger individuals, exhibiting traits that are likely to enhance nutrient uptake and retention. The overarching similarities in benthic trait expression between more eutrophied inner vs. less affected outer coastal sites across the Baltic Sea suggest that benthic communities might contribute in a similar manner to nutrient recycling and retention in thecoastal filter over large geographical scales.",
keywords = "1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology",
author = "Anna Villn{\"a}s and Urzsula Janas and Josefson, {Alf B.} and Halina Kendzierska and Henrik Nyg{\aa}rd and Joanna Norkko and Alf Norkko",
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Changes in macrofaunal biological traits across estuarine gradients : implications for the coastal nutrient filter. / Villnäs, Anna; Janas, Urzsula; Josefson, Alf B.; Kendzierska, Halina; Nygård, Henrik; Norkko, Joanna; Norkko, Alf.

In: Marine Ecology. Progress Series, Vol. 622, 18.07.2019, p. 31-48.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Changes in macrofaunal biological traits across estuarine gradients

T2 - implications for the coastal nutrient filter

AU - Villnäs, Anna

AU - Janas, Urzsula

AU - Josefson, Alf B.

AU - Kendzierska, Halina

AU - Nygård, Henrik

AU - Norkko, Joanna

AU - Norkko, Alf

PY - 2019/7/18

Y1 - 2019/7/18

N2 - Benthic macrofaunal communities have a profound impact on organic matter turnover and nutrient cycling in marine sediments. Their activities are of particular importance in the coastal filter, where nutrients and organic matter from land are transformed and/or retained before reaching the open sea. The benthic fauna modify the coastal filter directly (through consumption, respiration, excretion and biomass production) and indirectly (through bioturbation). It is hard to experimentally quantify faunal contribution to the coastal filter over large spatial and temporal scales that encompass significant environmental and biological heterogeneity. However, estimates can be obtained with biological trait analyses. By using benthic biological traits, we explored how the potential contribution of macrofaunal communities to the coastal filter differbetween inner and outer sites in an extensive archipelago area and examine the generality of the observed pattern across contrasting coastal areas of the entire Baltic Sea. Estimates of benthic bioturbation, longevity and size (i.e. ‘stability’) and total energy and nutrient contents differed between coastal areas and inner versus outer sites. Benthic traits indicative of an enhanced nutrient turnover but a decreased capacity for temporal nutrient retention dominated inner sites, whileouter sites were often dominated by larger individuals, exhibiting traits that are likely to enhance nutrient uptake and retention. The overarching similarities in benthic trait expression between more eutrophied inner vs. less affected outer coastal sites across the Baltic Sea suggest that benthic communities might contribute in a similar manner to nutrient recycling and retention in thecoastal filter over large geographical scales.

AB - Benthic macrofaunal communities have a profound impact on organic matter turnover and nutrient cycling in marine sediments. Their activities are of particular importance in the coastal filter, where nutrients and organic matter from land are transformed and/or retained before reaching the open sea. The benthic fauna modify the coastal filter directly (through consumption, respiration, excretion and biomass production) and indirectly (through bioturbation). It is hard to experimentally quantify faunal contribution to the coastal filter over large spatial and temporal scales that encompass significant environmental and biological heterogeneity. However, estimates can be obtained with biological trait analyses. By using benthic biological traits, we explored how the potential contribution of macrofaunal communities to the coastal filter differbetween inner and outer sites in an extensive archipelago area and examine the generality of the observed pattern across contrasting coastal areas of the entire Baltic Sea. Estimates of benthic bioturbation, longevity and size (i.e. ‘stability’) and total energy and nutrient contents differed between coastal areas and inner versus outer sites. Benthic traits indicative of an enhanced nutrient turnover but a decreased capacity for temporal nutrient retention dominated inner sites, whileouter sites were often dominated by larger individuals, exhibiting traits that are likely to enhance nutrient uptake and retention. The overarching similarities in benthic trait expression between more eutrophied inner vs. less affected outer coastal sites across the Baltic Sea suggest that benthic communities might contribute in a similar manner to nutrient recycling and retention in thecoastal filter over large geographical scales.

KW - 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

U2 - 10.3354/meps13008

DO - 10.3354/meps13008

M3 - Article

VL - 622

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EP - 48

JO - Marine Ecology. Progress Series

JF - Marine Ecology. Progress Series

SN - 0171-8630

ER -