Marinelli, R. L. National Science Foundation, rmarinel@nsf.gov
Wethey, D. S. University of South Carolina, wethey@biol.sc.edu
Lindsay, S. M. University of Maine, slindsay@maine.maine.edu
Woodin, S. A. University of South Carolina, woodin@biol.sc.edu

 
EFFECTS OF GEOCHEMISTRY ON BENTHIC RECRUITMENT AND COMMUNITIES: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TRANSIENT PROCESSES
 
While gross differences in physico-chemical properties of sedimentary environments have long been postulated as determinants of community structure, fine scale chemical processes operating over short spatial and temporal scales are now recognized as important factors affecting the distributions and activities of organisms which reside in sediments. We will provide several examples of how transient chemical environments arise in the benthos, including those driven by physical events such as erosion, and biological events such as defecation and feeding by infauna, and primary production by benthic microalgae. Subsequently we will provide data which demonstrate how small scale chemical processes in sediments influence recruitment decisions, activity rates, and organism distributions. We will provide a brief overview of two predictive models, a transient diagenetic model and a transient population model, which together suggest that transient chemical phenomena in sediments can have dramatic effects on community structure, such as recruitment failure in seemingly optimal habitats. Overall our results suggest that transient chemical processes in sediments promote dynamic interactions among fauna with far-reaching implications for community composition.
 
Day: Thursday, Feb. 4
Time: 10:45 - 11:00am
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
 
Code: SS30FR1045S