Choosing the lesser evil – A case study on quantification of sediment reworking rates in multi corer type sediment cores

alexa.wrede [ at ]


Macrofaunal sediment reworking activity is a key driver of ecosystem functioning in marine systems. So far sediment reworking rates can only accurately be assessed by measurements as inference from community parameters is limited. In this case study we test the applicability of 2-D optical florescent sediment profile imaging (f-SPI) on multi corer type incubation cylinders. f-SPI has to date been applied to flat-surfaced (i.e. rectangular) cores only, while multi corer type incubation cylinders were analyzed by the spatially low resolved and invasive slicing technique. Here we apply both methods to cylindrical sediment cores (10 cm diameter). Cores were taken from by two common communities (i.e. Nucula-community and Amphiura-community) in the southern German Bight. Both f-SPI and the slicing technique showed similar vertical luminophore profiles. However the slicing technique found no significant differences between the two communities, whereas f-SPI showed significant differences for all investigated sediment reworking parameters: sediment reworking rate, non-locality index, mean weighted luminophore depth, and the maximal luminophore depth. Consequently, this may lead to different conclusions about the sediment reworking behaviors of the two communities. Likely the slicing method failed to detect significant differences between the Nucula- and Amphiura-community, owing to insufficient spatial accuracy. The f-SPI method, on the other hand, did not capture the full extent of maximal sediment reworking depth due to wall-effects. We conclude that both methods have specific drawbacks and advantages. While slicing is preferable when focusing on the absolute maximal sediment reworking depth especially with predominantly sessile communities, f-SPI is better suited to capture general sediment reworking patterns of most other communities. We demonstrate further that the bias, which is introduced by the distortion effect on imaging due to optical perspective and cylinder wall curvature of rounded cylinders using f-SPI, is negligible. Accordingly our results indicate that the distortion effects by curvature of the rounded cylinder walls will not cause underestimations of sediment reworking parameters in the f-SPI approach. Consequently f-SPI is suitable for the investigation of sediment reworking in natural communities by means of multi corer type samples.

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DOI 10.1016/j.jembe.2019.03.003

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Wrede, A. , Holstein, J. M. and Brey, T. (2019): Choosing the lesser evil – A case study on quantification of sediment reworking rates in multi corer type sediment cores , Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 514-15 (1-9), pp. 1-9 . doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2019.03.003

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HE > 460-479 > 460

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