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Title: The faunal role in the degradation of the common intertidal salt marsh plant Scirpus maritimus
Authors: Lillebø, A. 
Flindt, M. 
Pardal, M. 
Cardoso, P. 
Ferreira, S. 
Marques, J. 
Issue Date: 2007
Citation: Hydrobiologia. 579:1 (2007) 369-378
Abstract: Abstract The aim of this work was to evaluate the role of different environmental conditions (oxic and anoxic), and the presence of macrofauna and/or meiofauna during the different steps of Scirpus maritimus L. decomposition/mineralization under controlled laboratory conditions. The results showed no significant differences between the anaerobic and the aerobic degradation of plant material, under the presence of bacteria or meiofauna. Nevertheless, under anoxic conditions sediment mineralization was enhanced, with an increase concentration of phosphorus and ammonium in the water phase. Concerning the presence of fauna, results show that, although bacterial activity was responsible for 70% of the S. maritimus leaves degradation, the presence of macrofauna together with meiofauna enhanced the leaves mineralization up to 90%. Moreover, the presence of macrofauna together with meiofauna significantly affected the decomposition of phosphorus and of nitrogen, as well as the leaves lesser labile structural parts, by increasing the mineralization of plant carbon, and raised the nutrient turnover within the system.The present study reinforces the functional link between fauna levels on the nutrient dynamics in salt marshes ecosystems, namely at the vegetation detritus/water column interface.
DOI: 10.1007/s10750-006-0535-z
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Ciências da Vida - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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