Local recruitment and movement in Corophium volutator: an intertidal tug of war
LE3 .A278 2020
Bachelor of Science
Coastal ecosystems are sustained by recruitment of individuals into existing communities. Corophium volutator, a keystone species in the Bay of Fundy, is an essential food source for migratory birds and fishery species. We hypothesized that recruitment of juvenile C. volutator is influenced by the presence of individuals of the same species. We examined recruitment into established communities under tidal conditions simulated in the mesocosms at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre. Juveniles recruited to areas with adults of the same species, with low recruitment if only sediment was available. Larger juveniles appeared to displace smaller juveniles. Males were highly motile and moved to areas with higher densities of females. Contrary to the literature, we found interactions among females is key, as large females easily displaced smaller females from their tubes (video analysis). Thus, recruitment of C. volutator is strongly influenced by intraspecific interactions, which was not previously known.
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