Biotic Interactions in Recent and Fossil Benthic Communities by Michael J.S. Tevesz, Peter L. McCall

By Michael J.S. Tevesz, Peter L. McCall

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For example, the glycerid polychaete Glycera alba is an infaunal worm that apparently uses vibrations caused by organisms moving on the sediment surface to locate its prey on the surface (Ockelmann and Vahl, 1970). Another polychaete, the hesionid Nereimyra punctata, uses tactile sensations to locate its prey. It sits beneath the surface in its burrow system with only its antennae on the surface (Oug, 1980). In contrast to the surface predators that take prey on or near the surface of the sediment are predators that pursue their prey below the surface sediment layers.

Thus, it is especially important to sample adequately an assemblage with local spatial patterns; pooling of samples in such a case may lead one to spurious conclusions (see Woodin, 1978). In each of the hypothetical cases I assumed that competition was an important structuring force in the assemblage. We cannot assume that in nature. , Peterson, 1979; Whitlatch, 1980). Many processes are often involved in biotic interactions and the result may be quite confusing for the investigator. For example, in the preceding discussion I have emphasized the negative effects of one organism on another but throughout the discussion of effects mediated by changes in the sediment I have also emphasized that those effects are density dependent.

1975, An outline history of seagrass communities, Palaeontology 18:681702. Brenchley, G. D. dissertation, Johns Hopkins University. Brenchley, G. , 1981, Disturbance and community structure: An experimental study of bioturbation in marine soft-bottom environments, f. Mar. Res. 39:767-790. 32 Chapter 1 Brenchley, G. , 1982, Mechanisms of spatial competition in marine soft bottom communities,/. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 60:17-33. Brenchley, G. , and Tidball, J. , 1980, Tube-cap orientations of Diopatra cuprea (Bose) (Polychaeta): The compromise between physiology and foraging, Mar.

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