Marine Biology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 255–268 | Cite as

The sulfide system: a new biotic community underneath the oxidized layer of marine sand bottoms

  • T. M. Fenchel
  • R. J. Riedl


A complex ecosystem of anaerobic and microaerobic properties underlies the oxidized surface layer of all marine sandy bottoms, with the exception of narrow “high-energy windows”. Investigations made on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, by T. Fenchel in Danish waters, and by R. Riedl and collaborators mainly in US (North Carolinian) waters; involve quantitative studies of plants, ciliates and invertebrates, measurements of chemical and physical parameters, systematics, physiological and model experiments.


Sulfide Sediment Surface Marine Sediment Hydrogen Sulfide Marine Nematode 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Alsterberg, G.: Die respiratorischen Mechanismen der Tubificiden. Acta Univ. lund. (Lunds Univ. Arsskr.) N F Avd. 2, 18 (1), 175 pp. (1922).Google Scholar
  2. Andreev, P. F., A. I. Bogomolov, A. F. Dobryanskii and A. A. Kartsev: Transformation of petroleum in nature, pp 14–15. Oxford: Pergamon Press 1968.Google Scholar
  3. Ax, P.: Relationships and phylogeny of the turbellarian. In: The lower metazoa, pp 191–225. Ed. by E. Dougherty. Los Angeles: University of California Press 1963.Google Scholar
  4. —: Die Bedeutung der interstitiellen Sandfauna für allgemeine Probleme der Systematik, Ökologie und Biologie. Veröff. Inst. Meeresforsch. Bremerh. 2, 15–16 (1966).Google Scholar
  5. Baas-Becking, L. G., I. R. Kaplan and D. Moore: Limits of the natural environment in terms of pH and oxidation-reduction potentials. J. Geol. 68, 243–284 (1960).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. —, and E. J. Wood: Biological processes in the estuarine environment. Vol. 1–2. Ecology of the sulphur cycle. Proc. K. ned. Akad. Wet. (Sect. B) 59, 109–123 (1955).Google Scholar
  7. Batten, R. W.: The sediments of the Beaufort Inlet area, North Carolina. South. Geol. 3, 101–205 (1962).Google Scholar
  8. Berkner, L. V. and L. C. Marshall: The history of growth of oxygen in the earth's atmosphere. In: The origin and evolution of atmospheres and oceans, pp 102–127. Ed. by P. J. Brancazio and A. G. Cameron. New York: Wiley and Sons 1964.Google Scholar
  9. Berner, R. A.: Diagenesis of iron sulfide in recent marine sediments. In: Estuaries, pp 268–272. Ed. by G. H. Lauff. Washington, D. C.: Publ. Am. Ass. Advmt Sci. 83, 1967.Google Scholar
  10. Bick, H.: Die Sukzession der Organismen bei Selbstreinigung von organisch verunreinigtem Wasser unter verschiedenen Milieubedingungen, 139 pp. Düsseldorf: Min. ELF des Landes Nordrhein/Westfalen 1964.Google Scholar
  11. Biggs, R. B.: The sediments of Chesapeake Bay. In: Estuaries, pp 239–260. Ed. by G. H. Lauff. Washington, D. C.: Publ. Am. Ass. Advmt Sci. 83, 1967.Google Scholar
  12. Brafield, A. E.: Oxygen in sandy shores: J. Anim. Ecol. 33, 97–116 (1964).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. —: Quelques facteurs affectant la teneur en oxygène des eaux interstielles littorales: Vie Milieu 16, 880–897 (1965).Google Scholar
  14. Brett, C. E.: Some sedimentary, hydrographic and faunal aspects of Bogue Sound, North Carolina, and their paleoecological significance. Thesis, University of North Carolina 1963.Google Scholar
  15. Chitwood, B. G.: Some marine nematodes from North Carolina: Proc. helminth. Soc. Wash. 3, 1–16 (1936).Google Scholar
  16. Dietrich, R., W. Hoehnk and W.-D. Manzel: Studien zur Chemie ozeanischer Bodenproben. III. Veröff. Inst. Meeresforsch. Bremerh. 9, 242–278 (1965).Google Scholar
  17. Durden, C. J., J. Rodgers, E. L. Yochelson and R. J. Riedl: Gnathostomulida: Is there a fossil record?: Science, N. Y. 164, 855–856 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Emery, K. O. and K. C. Rittenberg: Early diagenesis of California Basin sediments in relation to the origin of oil. Bull. Am. Ass. Petrol. Geol. 36, 735–806 (1952).Google Scholar
  19. Fairbridge, R. W.: Phases of diagenesis and autogenesis. In: Diagenesis of sediments (Developments in sedimentology 8), pp 19–89. Ed. by G. Larsen and G. V. Chilingar. New York: Elsevier 1967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fauré-Fremiet, E.: Caulobactéries épizoïques associées aux Centrophorella (ciliés holotriches). Bull. Soc. zool. Fr. 75, 134–137 (1950).Google Scholar
  21. Fenchel, T.: The ecology of marine microbenthos IV: Ophelia 6, 1–182 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fenchel, T.: The reduction-oxidation properties of marine sediments and the vertical distribution of the microfauna: Proceedings 3rd European Marine Biological Symposium, Arcachon 1968. (1970). (In press).Google Scholar
  23. — and B.-O. Jansson: On the vertical distribution of the microfauna in the sediments of a brackish-water beach: Ophelia 3, 161–177 (1966).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gerlach, S. A.: Über einige Nematoden aus der Familie der Desmodoriden. In: Neue Ergebnisse und Probleme der Zoologie. Zool. Anz. 145 (Erg. Bd Klatt-Festschrift) 178–198 (1950).Google Scholar
  25. —: Freilebende Nematoden aus dem Roten Meer: Kieler Meeresforsch. 20, 18–34 (1964).Google Scholar
  26. Gordon, M. S.: Anaerobiosis in marine sandy beaches: Science, N.Y. 132, 616–617 (1960).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Graebner, I.: Erste Befunde über die Feinstruktur der Exkretionszellen der Gnathostomulida (Gnathostomula paradoxa, Ax 1956 und Austrognathia riedli, Sterrer 1965): Mikroskopie 23, 277–292 (1968).Google Scholar
  28. —: Vergleichende elektronenmikroskopische Untersuchung der Spermienmorphologie und Spermiogenese einiger Gnathostomula-Arten: Gnathostomula paradoxa (Ax 1956), Gnathostomula axi (Kirsteuer 1964), Gnathostomula jenneri (Riedl 1969): Mikroskopie 24, 131–160 (1969).Google Scholar
  29. Grote, A.: Der Sauerstoffhaushalt der Seen. In: Die Binnengewässer, 217 pp. Ed. by A. Thienemann. Stuttgart: Schweizerbart, 1934.Google Scholar
  30. Hallberg, R. O.: Some factors of significance in the formation of sedimentary metal sulfides: Stockh. Contr. Geol. 15, 39–66 (1968).Google Scholar
  31. Hutchinson, G. E.: A treatise on limnology. Vol. 1. Geography, physics and chemistry, 1015 pp. New York: J. Wiley & Sons 1957.Google Scholar
  32. Ivanov, M. V.: Microbiological processes in the formation of sulfur deposits, 298 pp. Jerusalem: Israel Program for Scientific Translations 1968.Google Scholar
  33. Johnson, T. W., Jr. and F. K. Sparrow, Jr.: Fungi in oceans and estuaries, 668 pp. Weinheim: J. Cramer 1961.Google Scholar
  34. Kanwisher, J.: Gas exchange of shallow marine sediments. In: The environmental chemistry of marine sediments, pp. 12–19. Ed. by N. Marshall. Rhode Island: University of Rhode Island Occasional Publication No. 1, 1962.Google Scholar
  35. Keosian, J.: The origin of life, 118 pp. New York: Reinhold Publ. 1967.Google Scholar
  36. Kimball, J. F. Jr., E. F. Corcoran and E. J. Wood: Chlorophyll containing micro-organisms in the aphotic zone of the oceans: Bull. mar. Sci. 13, 574–577 (1963).Google Scholar
  37. Kirsteuer, E.: Eine neue Gnathostomulide aus der Mangroveregion des Archipels Los Roques, Venezuela: Zool. Anz. 172, 436–440 (1964).Google Scholar
  38. — On some species of Gnathostomulida from Bimini, Bahamas: Am. Mus. Novit. 2356, 1–21 (1969).Google Scholar
  39. Kirsteuer, E.: On some species of meiobenthic worms of the class Gnathostomulida from Barbados, W. I.: Am. Mus. Novit. (1970). (In press).Google Scholar
  40. Kohlmeyer, J.: Ecological observations on arenicolous marine fungi: Z. allg. Mikrobiol. 6, 95–106 (1966).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Krumbein, W. C. and R. M. Garrels: Origin and classification of chemical sediments in terms of pH and oxidation-reduction potentials: J. Geol. 60, 1–33 (1952).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kuznetsov, S. I.: Microflora of lakes and its geochemical activity, 440 pp. Leningrad: Akad. Nauk. SSSR 1970.Google Scholar
  43. Linnane, A. W., E. Vitols and P. G. Nowland: Studies on the origin of yeast mitochondria: J. Cell Biol. 13, 345–350 (1962).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lönnerblad, G.: Über die Sauerstoffabsorption des Bodensubstrates in einigen Seentypen: Bot. Notiser. 1930, 53–60 (1930).Google Scholar
  45. Mortimer, C. H.: The exchange of dissolved substances between mud and water in lakes: J. Ecol. 29, 280–329 (1941).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. — The exchange of dissolved substances between mud and water in lakes II: J. Ecol. 30, 147–201 (1942).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nelson, B. W.: Important aspects of estuarine sediment chemistry for benthic ecology. In: The environmental chemistry of marine sediments. Ed. by N. Marshall. Rhode Island: University of Rhode Island. Occasional Publication No. 1, 1962.Google Scholar
  48. Nikitinsky, J. and F. Mudrezowa-Wyss: Über die Wirkung der Kohlensäure, des Schwefelwasserstoffs, des Methans und der Abwesenheit des Sauerstoffs auf Wasserorganismen: Zentbl. Bakt. Parasitkde, 2 Abt. 81, 167–198 (1930).Google Scholar
  49. Noland, L. E. and M. Gojdics: Ecology of free-living protozoa. In: Research in protozoology 2, pp 215–266. Ed. by Tze-Tuan Chen. Oxford: Pergamon Press 1967.Google Scholar
  50. Ochietti, S. et A. Cailleux: Comparaison des conodontes et des mâchoires de gnathostomulides: C. r. hebd. Séanc. Acad. Sci., Paris 268, 2664–2666 (1969).Google Scholar
  51. Oparin, A. I.: The origin of life on the Earth, 495 pp. New York: Academic Press 1957.Google Scholar
  52. Perkins, E. J.: The food relationships of the microbenthos, with particular reference to that found at Whitstable, Kent: Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. 13, 64–77 (1958).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pickett, T. E.: The modern sediments of Pamlico Sound North Carolina. Thesis, University of North Carolina 1965.Google Scholar
  54. Por, F. D. and D. Masry: Survival of a nematode and an oligochaete species in the anaerobic benthal of Lake Tiberias. Oikos 19, 388–391 (1968).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Remane, A.: Die Besiedelung des Sandbodens im Meere und die Bedeutung der Lebensformtypen für die Ökologie. Zool. Anz. (Suppl.). (Verh. dt. zool. Ges., Wilhelmshaven, 1951) 16, 327–359 (1952).Google Scholar
  56. Riedl, R. J.: Methoden und Probleme der Erforschung des litoralen Benthos. Zool. Anz. 26, 505–567 (1963).Google Scholar
  57. — Biologie der Meereshöhlen, 636 pp. Berlin: Paul Parey 1966.Google Scholar
  58. —: Faunistische Studien am Roten Meer im Winter 1961/62, III. Die Aufsammlungen in Suez und Al-Ghardaqa, nebst einigen Bemerkungen über Gnathostomulida: Zool. Jb. Syst. 93, 139–157 (1966–1967).Google Scholar
  59. —: Gnathostomulida from America, first record of the new phylum from North America. Science, N. Y. 163, 445–452 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Riedl, R. J.: Semaeognathia, a genus of Gnathostomulida from American coasts: Int. Revue ges. Hydrobiol. (1970a). (In press).Google Scholar
  61. Riedl, R. J.: On Labidognathia longicollis nov. gen. nov. spec. from the West Atlantic Coast: Int. Revue ges. Hydrobiol. (1970b).Google Scholar
  62. Riedl, R. J.: On Onychognathia, a new genus of Gnathostomulida from the tropical and subtropical West Atlantic: Bull. mar. Sci. (1970c). (In press).Google Scholar
  63. Riedl, R. J.: On the genus Gnathostomula. Int. Revue ges. Hydrobiol. (1970d). (In press).Google Scholar
  64. Riedl, R. J. and E. A. McMahan: High energy beaches. In: Coastal ecological systems of the United States, pp 197–268. Ed. by H. T. Odum 1970. (In press).Google Scholar
  65. Riedl, R. J. and J. A. Ott: A new suction-corer to yield electric potentials in coastal sediment layers. Senckenberg. marit. 1970. (In press).Google Scholar
  66. Smith, P. V.: The origin of petroleum; occurence of hydrocarbons in recent sediments. Bull. Am. Ass. Petrol. Geol. 38, 377–404 (1954).Google Scholar
  67. Sokolova, G. A. and G. I. Karavaiko: Physiology and geochemical activity of Thiobacilli, 238 pp. Jerusalem: Israel Program for Scientific Translations 1968.Google Scholar
  68. Sorokin, J. I.: On the trophic role of chemosynthesis and bacterial biosynthesis in water bodies. Memorie Ist. ital Idrobiol. (Suppl.) 18, 187–205 (1965).Google Scholar
  69. —: On the primary production and bacterial activities in the Black Sea. J. Cons. int. Explor. Mer 25, 41–60 (1969).Google Scholar
  70. Stanier, R. Y., M. Doudoroff and E. A. Adelberg: The microbial world, 753 pp. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall 1963.Google Scholar
  71. Sterrer, W.: Gnathostomula axi Kirsteuer und Austrognathia (einweiteres Gnathostomuliden-Genus) aus der Nordadria. Z. Morph. Tiere 55, 783–795 (1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. —: New polylithophorous marine Turbellaria. Nature, Lond. 210, 436 (1966a).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. —: Gnathostomula paradoxa Ax und Vertreter von Pterognathia (ein neues Gnathostomuliden-Genus) von der schwedischen Westküste. Ark. Zool. 18, 405–412 (1966b).Google Scholar
  74. —: Neue Gnathostomulida. Veröff. Inst. Meeresforsch. Bremerh. 2, 201–207 (1966c).Google Scholar
  75. Sterrer, W.: On some species of Austrognatharia, Pterognathia, and Haplognathia nov. gen. from the North Carolina coast (Gnathostomulida). Int. Revue ges. Hydrobiol. (1970a). (In press).Google Scholar
  76. Sterrer, W.: Agnathiella beckeri nov. gen. nov. spec. from southern Florida: the first gnathostomulid without jaws. Bull. mar. Sci. (1970b). (In press).Google Scholar
  77. Sterrer, W.: On Nanognathia, a new gnathostomulid genus from the east coast of the United States. Int. Revue ges. Hydrobiol. (1970c). (In press).Google Scholar
  78. Sterrer, W.: On the biology of Gnathostomulida. Proceedings 3rd European Marine Biological Symposium, Arcachon 1968. (1970d). (In press).Google Scholar
  79. Strakhov, N. M., N. G. Brodskaya, L. M. Knyazeva, A. N. Razzhivina, M. S. Rateev, D. G. Sapozhnikov and E. S. Shishova: Formation of sediments in recent basins, 791 p. Moscow: Akad. Nauk SSSR 1954.Google Scholar
  80. Swedmark, B.: The interstitial fauna of marine sand: Biol. Rev. 39, 1–42 (1964).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Thane-Fenchel, A.: The ecology and distribution of nonplanktonic brackishwater rotifers from Scandinavian waters. Ophelia 5, 273–297 (1968).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Theede, H., A. Ponat, K. Hiroki and C. Schlieper: Studies on the resistance of marine bottom invertebrates to oxygen deficiency and hydrogen sulfide. Mar. Biol. 2, 325–337 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Urey, H. C.: The planets, 245 pp. New Haven. Yale Univ. Press 1952.Google Scholar
  84. Westheide, W.: Zur quantitativen Verteilung von Bakterien und Hefen in einem Gezeitenstrand der Nordseeküste. Mar. Biol. 1, 336–347 (1968).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Whitfield, M.: Eh as an operational parameter in estuarine studies. Limnol. Oceanogr. 14, 547–558 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Whittaker, R. J.: New concepts of kingdoms of organisms. Science, N.Y. 163, 150–160 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Wieser, W.: Eine ungewöhnliche Association zwischen Blaualgen und freilebenden marinen Nematoden. Öst. bot. Z. 106, 81–87 (1959).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. — and J. Kanwisher: Respiration and anaerobic survival in some seaweed-inhabiting invertebrates. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole. 117, 594–600 (1959).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. — and J. Kanwisher: Ecological and physiological studies on marine nematodes from a small salt marsh near Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Limnol. Oceanogr. 6, 262–270 (1961).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Wood, E. J. F.: A study of the diatom flora of fresh sediments of the South Texas Bays and adjacent waters. Publs. Inst. mar. Sci. Univ. Tex. 9, 237–310 (1963).Google Scholar
  91. —: Marine microbial ecology, 243 pp. London: Chapman and Hall Ltd 1965.Google Scholar
  92. Zobell, C. E.: Studies on the bacterial flora of marine bottom deposits. J. sedim. Petrol. 8, 10–18 (1938).Google Scholar
  93. —: Studies in redox potential of marine sediments. Bull Am. Ass. Petrol. Geol. 30, 477–513 (1946).Google Scholar
  94. —: Microbiology of oil. Inf. Ser. Dep. scient. ind. Res. N.Z. 22, 39–47 (1959).Google Scholar
  95. — and D. O. Andfrson: Vertical distribution of bacteria in marine sediments. Bull. Am. Ass. Petrol. Geol. 20, 258–269 (1936).Google Scholar
  96. — and C. B. Feltham: Preliminary studies on the distribution and characteristics of marine bacteria. Bull. Scripps Instn Oceanogr. (Tech. Ser.) 3, 279–295 (1934).Google Scholar
  97. — and S. E. Rittenberg: Sulfate-reducing bacteria in marine sediments. J. mar. Res. 7, 602–617 (1948).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. M. Fenchel
    • 1
  • R. J. Riedl
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Ecology, Zoological InstituteUniversity of AarhusÅrhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Marine SciencesMorehead CityUSA

Personalised recommendations