Home > 2019, 38(8) > Effects of key species mud snail Bullacta exarata (Gastropoda) on oxygen and nutrient fluxes at the sediment-water interface in the Huanghe River Delta, China

Citation: Baoquan Li, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Quanchao Wang, Laura M. Soissons, Francesco Cozzoli, Guanghai Feng, Xiaojing Li, Zhengquan Zhou, Linlin Chen. Effects of key species mud snail Bullacta exarata (Gastropoda) on oxygen and nutrient fluxes at the sediment-water interface in the Huanghe River Delta, China. ACTA OCEANOLOGICA SINICA, 2019, 38(8): 48-55. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1430-6

2019, 38(8): 48-55. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1430-6

Effects of key species mud snail Bullacta exarata (Gastropoda) on oxygen and nutrient fluxes at the sediment-water interface in the Huanghe River Delta, China

1.  Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai 264003, China
2.  Department of Spatial Ecology, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ-Yerseke), Yerseke 140, 4400 AC, The Netherlands
3.  University of Applied Sciences, Vlissingen 4382 NW, The Netherlands
4.  University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
5.  Dawenliu Management Station of Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve, Dongying 257500, China

Corresponding author: Linlin Chen, llchen@yic.ac.cn

Received Date: 2018-01-24
Web Publishing Date: 2019-08-01

Fund Project: The Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences under contract Nos XDA23050304 and XDA23050202; the Key Research Project of Frontier Science of Chinese Academy of Sciences under contract No. QYZDB-SSW-DQC041; the Program of Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China under contract No. 2015FY210300; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 41061130543; the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research under contract No. 843.10.003 as part of the NSFC-NOW “Water ways, Harbours, Estuaries and Coastal Engineering” scheme; the self-deployment project of Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences under contract No. YIC755021012.

Since the mud snail Bullacta exarata was introduced for economic aquaculture in the Huanghe River (Yellow River) Delta in 2001, its quick population growth and expanded distribution make it a key-species in the intertidal zone of this area. This significantly contributed to the economic income of the local people, but its potential ecological impact on the benthic ecosystem remains unknown. A mesocosm study was conducted to test whether its bioturbation activities affect the microphytobenthos (MPBs; i.e., sedimentary microbes and unicellular algae) productivity and the nutrient exchange between the sediment-water interface. Our results show that the mud snail significantly impacted the dissolved oxygen (DO) flux across the sediment-water interface on the condition of normal sediment and light treatment, and significantly increased the ammonium efflux during recovery period in the defaunated sediment and dark treatment. The presence of micro- and meiofauna significantly increased the NH4-N flux in dark treatment. Whereas, in light treatment, these small animals had less effects on the DO and NH4-N flux between sediment-water interface. Our results provide better insight into the effect of the mud snail B. exarata on the ecosystem functioning via benthic fluxes.

Key words: bioturbation , mud snail Bullacta exarata , oxygen flux , nutrient flux , benthic metabolism , Huanghe River (Yellow River) Delta

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Effects of key species mud snail Bullacta exarata (Gastropoda) on oxygen and nutrient fluxes at the sediment-water interface in the Huanghe River Delta, China

Baoquan Li, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Quanchao Wang, Laura M. Soissons, Francesco Cozzoli, Guanghai Feng, Xiaojing Li, Zhengquan Zhou, Linlin Chen