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Quantification of sediment reworking by the Asiatic clam Corbicula fluminea Müller, 1774

Abstract

Active organisms modify the substratum in which they dwell. This process, called “bioturbation”, affects the way that biogeochemical fluxes are mediated at the substratum–water interface. In the frame of this work, the bioturbation potential of the Asiatic clam Corbicula fluminea was characterized and quantified. We measured the displacement of fluorescent particles by C. fluminea burying in a size-based experimental design in order to explore the effects of body-size on sediment reworking. Our results stress that C. fluminea belongs to the functional group of biodiffusors, and that C. fluminea can be considered as an intermediate sediment reworker. We suggest that bioturbation was mainly induced by the pedal-feeding activity of the clams. Results also showed that, though large clams induced displacement of particles deeper into the sediment, small clams showed the highest net sediment reworking activity. This result was in contrast to the initial hypothesis of biovolume as the main driver for particle displacement by bioturbating organisms. Life-history traits and specific features of pedal-feeding could explain the observed pattern.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Régis Cereghino who indicated us some Corbicula “hot spots” and to Frédérique François-Carcaillet, Stefan Hulth, John E. Havel, and two referees for helpful comments on an earlier draft. This research was supported by an ATER assistant-professor fellowship (University Paul Sabatier) to NM. Nereis Park contribution #30.

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Correspondence to Nabil Majdi.

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Handling editor: John Havel

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Majdi, N., Bardon, L. & Gilbert, F. Quantification of sediment reworking by the Asiatic clam Corbicula fluminea Müller, 1774. Hydrobiologia 732, 85–92 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-014-1849-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-014-1849-x

Keywords

  • Corbicula fluminea
  • Invasive species
  • Bioturbation
  • Sediment reworking
  • Body-size