Towards predicting basin-wide invertebrate organic biomass and production in marine sediments from a coastal sea

  • Burd B
  • Macdonald T
  • van Roodselaar A
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Abstract

Detailed knowledge of environmental conditions is required to understand faunal production in coastal seas with topographic and hydrographic complexity. We test the hypothesis that organic biomass and production of subtidal sediment invertebrates throughout the Strait of Georgia, west coast of Canada, can be predicted by depth, substrate type and organic flux modified to reflect lability and age of material. A basin-wide database of biological, geochemical and flux data was analysed using an empirical production/biomass (P/B) model to test this hypothesis. This analysis is unique in the spatial extent and detail of P/B and concurrent environmental measurements over a temperate coastal region. Modified organic flux was the most important predictor of organic biomass and production. Depth and substrate type were secondary modifiers. Between 69-74% of variability in biomass and production could be explained by the combined environmental factors. Organisms

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Authors

  • B J Burd

  • T A Macdonald

  • A van Roodselaar

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