, Volume 190, Issue 3, pp 263-266

First online:

Effects of estuarine infauna on sediment stability and particle sedimentation

  • P. S. MeadowsAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, University of Glasgow
  • , J. TaitAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, University of Glasgow
  • , S. A. HussainAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, University of Glasgow

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Secretions produced by the two estuarine benthic invertebrates Corophium volutator and Nereis diversicolor stabilise sediments by increasing their shear strength, and reduce sedimentation of previously resuspended particles. The secretions consist of 1 to 2 μm threads which bind the particles together. They are used by both species in the production of complex burrow systems in the top 15 cm of sediment. The burrow systems have been demonstrated by a new resin impregnation technique. These results have widespread implications for the stability and erosion of estuarine sediments.

Key words

Sediments stability sedimentation infauna