Quantifying bioturbation across coastal seascapes

Habitat characteristics modify effects of macrofaunal communities

Guillaume Bernard, Johanna Gammal, Marie Järnström, Joanna Norkko, Alf Norkko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Bioturbation by benthic macrofauna communities plays a significant role in the setting and maintenance of important ecosystem functions and the delivery of associated ecosystem services. We investigated the context-dependence of bioturbation performed by natural benthic communities in the coastal northern Baltic Sea by quantifying three bioturbation metrics (particle mixing intensity, surface sediment reworking and bioturbation depth) across 18 sites ranging from cohesive muddy sediments to non-cohesive coarse sands, while accounting for the complexity of natural communities and habitat characteristics. We identified two distinct patterns of bioturbation; in fine sediments bioturbation rates were highly variable and in coarse sediments bioturbation rates were less variable and characterized by lower maximal values. Using distance-based linear multiple regressions, we found that 75.5% of the variance in bioturbation rates in fine sediment could be explained by key functional groups/species abundance and/or biomass (i.e. biomass of the gallery-diffusors and abundances of biodiffusors, surface modifiers, conveyors and gallery diffusors, respectively). In coarse sediment, 47.8% of the variance in bioturbation rates could be explained by a combination of environmental factors (grain size, organic matter content, buried plant material) and faunal functional groups, although fauna alone explained only 13% of this variance. Bioturbation in fine sediments was therefore more predictable based on the composition of benthic fauna. In coarse sediment, the bioturbation activities of benthic fauna were strongly modified by habitat characteristics (including the presence of buried plant material, sediment organic content and grain size) whereas in fine sediments this was not the case. Our results therefore highlight that variability in spatial patterns of bioturbation is a result of complex relationships between macrofauna community structure, sediment type and other habitat characteristics, likely modifying bioturbation performance of individual fauna.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101766
JournalJournal of Sea Research
Volume152
ISSN1385-1101
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Bioturbation
  • Benthic fauna
  • Context-dependence
  • Sediment
  • Habitat characteristics
  • Community functional composition
  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

Cite this

@article{78c8eb0f00c940b4a24afede0ec915c8,
title = "Quantifying bioturbation across coastal seascapes: Habitat characteristics modify effects of macrofaunal communities",
abstract = "Bioturbation by benthic macrofauna communities plays a significant role in the setting and maintenance of important ecosystem functions and the delivery of associated ecosystem services. We investigated the context-dependence of bioturbation performed by natural benthic communities in the coastal northern Baltic Sea by quantifying three bioturbation metrics (particle mixing intensity, surface sediment reworking and bioturbation depth) across 18 sites ranging from cohesive muddy sediments to non-cohesive coarse sands, while accounting for the complexity of natural communities and habitat characteristics. We identified two distinct patterns of bioturbation; in fine sediments bioturbation rates were highly variable and in coarse sediments bioturbation rates were less variable and characterized by lower maximal values. Using distance-based linear multiple regressions, we found that 75.5{\%} of the variance in bioturbation rates in fine sediment could be explained by key functional groups/species abundance and/or biomass (i.e. biomass of the gallery-diffusors and abundances of biodiffusors, surface modifiers, conveyors and gallery diffusors, respectively). In coarse sediment, 47.8{\%} of the variance in bioturbation rates could be explained by a combination of environmental factors (grain size, organic matter content, buried plant material) and faunal functional groups, although fauna alone explained only 13{\%} of this variance. Bioturbation in fine sediments was therefore more predictable based on the composition of benthic fauna. In coarse sediment, the bioturbation activities of benthic fauna were strongly modified by habitat characteristics (including the presence of buried plant material, sediment organic content and grain size) whereas in fine sediments this was not the case. Our results therefore highlight that variability in spatial patterns of bioturbation is a result of complex relationships between macrofauna community structure, sediment type and other habitat characteristics, likely modifying bioturbation performance of individual fauna.",
keywords = "Bioturbation, Benthic fauna, Context-dependence, Sediment, Habitat characteristics, Community functional composition, 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology",
author = "Guillaume Bernard and Johanna Gammal and Marie J{\"a}rnstr{\"o}m and Joanna Norkko and Alf Norkko",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "6",
doi = "10.1016/j.seares.2019.101766",
language = "English",
volume = "152",
journal = "Journal of Sea Research",
issn = "1385-1101",
publisher = "Elsevier Scientific Publ. Co",

}

Quantifying bioturbation across coastal seascapes : Habitat characteristics modify effects of macrofaunal communities. / Bernard, Guillaume; Gammal, Johanna; Järnström, Marie; Norkko, Joanna; Norkko, Alf.

In: Journal of Sea Research, Vol. 152, 101766, 06.07.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Quantifying bioturbation across coastal seascapes

T2 - Habitat characteristics modify effects of macrofaunal communities

AU - Bernard, Guillaume

AU - Gammal, Johanna

AU - Järnström, Marie

AU - Norkko, Joanna

AU - Norkko, Alf

PY - 2019/7/6

Y1 - 2019/7/6

N2 - Bioturbation by benthic macrofauna communities plays a significant role in the setting and maintenance of important ecosystem functions and the delivery of associated ecosystem services. We investigated the context-dependence of bioturbation performed by natural benthic communities in the coastal northern Baltic Sea by quantifying three bioturbation metrics (particle mixing intensity, surface sediment reworking and bioturbation depth) across 18 sites ranging from cohesive muddy sediments to non-cohesive coarse sands, while accounting for the complexity of natural communities and habitat characteristics. We identified two distinct patterns of bioturbation; in fine sediments bioturbation rates were highly variable and in coarse sediments bioturbation rates were less variable and characterized by lower maximal values. Using distance-based linear multiple regressions, we found that 75.5% of the variance in bioturbation rates in fine sediment could be explained by key functional groups/species abundance and/or biomass (i.e. biomass of the gallery-diffusors and abundances of biodiffusors, surface modifiers, conveyors and gallery diffusors, respectively). In coarse sediment, 47.8% of the variance in bioturbation rates could be explained by a combination of environmental factors (grain size, organic matter content, buried plant material) and faunal functional groups, although fauna alone explained only 13% of this variance. Bioturbation in fine sediments was therefore more predictable based on the composition of benthic fauna. In coarse sediment, the bioturbation activities of benthic fauna were strongly modified by habitat characteristics (including the presence of buried plant material, sediment organic content and grain size) whereas in fine sediments this was not the case. Our results therefore highlight that variability in spatial patterns of bioturbation is a result of complex relationships between macrofauna community structure, sediment type and other habitat characteristics, likely modifying bioturbation performance of individual fauna.

AB - Bioturbation by benthic macrofauna communities plays a significant role in the setting and maintenance of important ecosystem functions and the delivery of associated ecosystem services. We investigated the context-dependence of bioturbation performed by natural benthic communities in the coastal northern Baltic Sea by quantifying three bioturbation metrics (particle mixing intensity, surface sediment reworking and bioturbation depth) across 18 sites ranging from cohesive muddy sediments to non-cohesive coarse sands, while accounting for the complexity of natural communities and habitat characteristics. We identified two distinct patterns of bioturbation; in fine sediments bioturbation rates were highly variable and in coarse sediments bioturbation rates were less variable and characterized by lower maximal values. Using distance-based linear multiple regressions, we found that 75.5% of the variance in bioturbation rates in fine sediment could be explained by key functional groups/species abundance and/or biomass (i.e. biomass of the gallery-diffusors and abundances of biodiffusors, surface modifiers, conveyors and gallery diffusors, respectively). In coarse sediment, 47.8% of the variance in bioturbation rates could be explained by a combination of environmental factors (grain size, organic matter content, buried plant material) and faunal functional groups, although fauna alone explained only 13% of this variance. Bioturbation in fine sediments was therefore more predictable based on the composition of benthic fauna. In coarse sediment, the bioturbation activities of benthic fauna were strongly modified by habitat characteristics (including the presence of buried plant material, sediment organic content and grain size) whereas in fine sediments this was not the case. Our results therefore highlight that variability in spatial patterns of bioturbation is a result of complex relationships between macrofauna community structure, sediment type and other habitat characteristics, likely modifying bioturbation performance of individual fauna.

KW - Bioturbation

KW - Benthic fauna

KW - Context-dependence

KW - Sediment

KW - Habitat characteristics

KW - Community functional composition

KW - 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

U2 - 10.1016/j.seares.2019.101766

DO - 10.1016/j.seares.2019.101766

M3 - Article

VL - 152

JO - Journal of Sea Research

JF - Journal of Sea Research

SN - 1385-1101

M1 - 101766

ER -