Spatio-temporal variations in intertidal mudflat erodability: Marennes-Oleron Bay, western France

Type Article
Date 2007-05
Language English
Author(s) Orvain Francis1, Sauriau Pierre-Guy2, Le Hir Pierre3, Guillou Gael2, Cann Philippe3, Paillard Michel3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Caen, Lab PE2M, F-14032 Caen, France.
2 : CNRS, IFREMER, CREMA, UMR 10, F-17137 Houmeau, France.
3 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Continental Shelf Research (0278-4343) (Elsevier), 2007-05 , Vol. 27 , N. 8 , P. 1153-1173
DOI 10.1016/j.csr.2006.05.013
WOS© Times Cited 33
Keyword(s) EPS, Microphytobenthos, Erodability, Intertidal mudflat, Sediment, Scrobicularia plana, Hydrobia ulvae, Bioturbation, Resuspension, Eris
Abstract A portable erosion device (ERIS) was deployed in November 2000 and May 2001 to investigate the spatio-temporal variation of fine-grained sediment erosion over a transect on the intertidal mudflats of Marennes-Oleron Bay, western France. The objective was to relate changes in bed erodability over diurnal emersion periods to bioturbation, rapid changes in sediment characteristics, and microphytobenthos biomass.

Macrofaunal assemblages were dominated by the bivalve, Scrobicularia plana, on the upper mudflat, and by the gastropod, Hydrobia ulvae. on the middle mudflat. A power relationship was obtained where tau(cr) was plotted as a function of sediment density. Results from the upper part of the mudflat deviated from this relationship due to bioturbation by S. plana. No influence of microphytobenthos (either chlorophyll a or extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) content) was found on tau(cr).The bivalve feeding activities altered consolidated sediments (sediment dry mass concentration of similar to 700 g1(-1)) so that they became resuspended easily (tau(cr) < 1 Pa). Fluff layer erosion was observed, with an erosion rate dependent upon the biomass of H. ulvae. It was also found that bioturbation by H. ulvae was implicated (combined with grazing activities) in chl a resuspension during the erosion of the fluff layer. Snail bioturbation stimulated the chl a enrichment of eroded material. whilst the high snail biomass produced a decrease in suspended chl a due to higher grazing rates. (c) 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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