Marine Biology

, Volume 153, Issue 6, pp 1199–1206 | Cite as

Burrowing behaviour inferred from feeding traces of the opheliid polychaete Euzonus sp. as response to beach morphodynamics

Research Article

Abstract

The distribution of the opheliid polychate Euzonus sp. and the orientation of its feeding traces were examined in a wave-dominated Pacific sandy beach of central Japan by periodical sampling from June to December 2006. This species occurred constantly within sediments at mid-intertidal level, although its horizontal distributions were variable depending on changes of the beach profiles. These facts indicate that Euzonus sp. moved horizontally seaward or landward within the substratum in response to the shifting beach face due to changes of wave conditions from the ocean. By analysing the orientation of feeding traces, the adaptive burrowing behaviour of this species in response to beach topographical changes was revealed: Euzonus worms burrowed horizontally to various directions in a relatively stable condition of beach topography, whereas they moved preferentially landward under a heavy erosion of the beach face by a storm. These findings indicate that the burrowing behaviour prevents Euzonus sp. from excessive burial and washing out due to the beach morphodynamics.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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