In situ biodeposition measurements on a Modiolus modiolus (horse mussel) reef provide insights into ecosystem services

Flora E.A. Kent, Kim S. Last, Daniel B. Harries, William G. Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract; horse mussel (Modiolus modiolus) shellfish reefs are a threatened and declining habitat in the North East Atlantic and support high levels of biodiversity. Shellfish can influence the surrounding water column and modify the quality of material that reaches the seabed by filtering water, actively depositing particles and changing the benthic boundary layer due to surface roughness. In the present study M. modiolus biodeposition was measured in a field location for the first time. The results show that M. modiolus enhance sedimentation and contribute to the downward flux of material to the seabed. Approximately 30% of the total sediment deposition was attributed to active filter feeding and overall, the presence of horse mussels enhanced deposition two fold. The results are discussed in terms of the potential for horse mussel reefs to provide ecosystem services to society, through functions such as benthopelagic coupling and sediment stabilisation. Highlighting the societal benefits supplied by marine habitats can help prioritise conservation efforts and feed into the sustainable management of coastal water bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalEstuarine Coastal and Shelf Science
Volume184
Early online date15 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Biogenic reef
  • Ecosystem function
  • Benthopelagic coupling
  • Sediment stabilisation
  • Conservation management

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