Larval growth in the dominant polychaete Polydora ciliata is food-limited in a eutrophic Danish estuary (Isefjord)

Troels Møller Pedersen, Rodrigo Almeda, Frank Lech Fotel, Hans Henrik Jakobsen, Patrizio Mariani, Benni Winding Hansen

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Food limitation in larval growth of the spionid polychaete Polydora ciliata was examined in a typical eutrophic estuary, Isefjord, in Denmark. In the field, food availability and the energetic requirements of the P. ciliata larval population were measured during 2 different periods in 2004 and 2007 that together cover the productive part of the year for plankton. In the laboratory, specific growth rates (µ) of larvae reared on natural food suspensions (~0.10 d–1) were always lower than those of larvae reared on phytoplankton-enriched food suspensions (100% retention efficiency for Rhodomonas salina; ~0.21 d–1). Total meroplankton biomass (average: 3.72 µg C l–1, range: 0.11 to 26.05 µg C l–1) was frequently similar to or exceeded that of holoplankton (average: 5.70 µg C l–1, range: 0.08 to 29.89 µg C l–1), suggesting a trophic significance of meroplankton in the estuary. P. ciliata was commonly the dominant meroplanktonic larvae (average: 0.5 µg C l–1, range: 0.03 to 2.51 µg C l–1). The available food in the optimal prey size fraction (2004, average:
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Ecology - Progress Series
Pages (from-to)99-110
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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