Recruitment of Corophium volutator into Macrofaunal Communities
LE3 .A278 2019
Bachelor of Science
The Minas Basin, Bay of Fundy, is an unusual environment with expansive tidal flats and high tidal amplitude (15m). The direct-developing amphipod Corophium volutator is abundant on these tidal flats and are critical food sources for ground feeding fishes and migratory birds. I asked how biological and environmental factors impact recruitment of C. volutator into established assemblages of macrofauna. Sediment cores, with original macrofauna intact, were collected from three sites with abundances of C. volutatorthat ranged from high (~350/ 10 cm core) to low (~0 Corophium/core, dominated by the polychaete Heteromastus filiformis). Field sites had similar sediment composition but differed in organic content. Cores were placed in a mesocosm bench on simulated tidal cycles and C. volutator added. After two weeks, cores were sieved and C. volutator and other macrofauna counted. I found that C. volutator recruited to all three assemblages, even those with low abundance of C. volutator in the field, recruitment of both adults and juveniles occurred, both brooding and non-brooding females were capable of recruitment, and that after recruitment, males and females were found in approximately the same female-biased sex ratio as occurs in the field. There are also indications that adult C. volutator displace juveniles.
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