Marine Biology

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 221–235

Influence of predation on infaunal abundance in Upper Chesapeake Bay, USA

  • A. F. Holland
  • N. K. Mountford
  • M. H. Hiegel
  • K. R. Kaumeyer
  • J. A. Mihursky
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00390739

Cite this article as:
Holland, A.F., Mountford, N.K., Hiegel, M.H. et al. Mar. Biol. (1980) 57: 221. doi:10.1007/BF00390739

Abstract

The importance of predators in controlling the densities of infaunal (>0.5 mm) organisms was investigated in the mesohaline region of the Upper Chesapeake Bay (USA) using field experiments. The role of predators in controlling infaunal density and community characteristics varied with habitat type, season (i.e., predator abundance) and developmental or successional stage of the community. Few infaunal species were adversely affected by predator exclusion. Species that increased greatly in abundance in the absence of predators (e.g. Eteone heteropoda, Streblospio benedicti, Nereis succinea, and juvenile Macoma balthica and Mya arenaria) lived near the sediment-water interface and had major population pulses from fall through spring. Species whose abundances increased moderately or were not affected by predator exclusion were deeper burrowing organisms (e.g. Heteromastus filiformis and adult Mya arenaria), or were relatively small organisms (e.g. Paraprionospio pinnata, Scolecolepides viridis and Peloscolex gabriellae) whose principal predators could be other members of the infauna. Competition did not appear to be an important factor controlling infaunal density in these experiments.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. F. Holland
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. K. Mountford
    • 2
  • M. H. Hiegel
    • 2
  • K. R. Kaumeyer
    • 2
  • J. A. Mihursky
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental CenterMartin Marietta CorporationBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Center for Environmental and Estuarine StudiesUniversity of MarylandSolomonsUSA

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