KNAW Repository

Ecological significance of benthic foraminifera: C-13 labelling experiments

Moodley, L. and Boschker, H.T.S. and Middelburg, J.J. and Pel, R. and Herman, P.M.J. and De Deckere, E.M.G.T. and Heip, C.H.R. (2000) Ecological significance of benthic foraminifera: C-13 labelling experiments. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 202, 289-295. ISSN 0171-8630.

PDF - Published Version

Official URL:


We examined the ability of foraminifera in taking up freshly deposited algal carbon in intertidal estuarine sediments. Lyophylized C-13-labelled axenic Chlorella was added to intact sediment cores containing natural benthic biota. The response of the system as a whole was rapid; similar to 5% of the added carbon was respired to CO2 within 6 h. Bacteria assimilated similar to 2 to 4 % of the added carbon within 12 h. Among the foraminifera, the dominant foraminifer Ammonia exhibited rapid uptake and it is estimated that similar to 1 to 7% of the added carbon was ingested within 3 to 53 h. This rapid, substantial uptake by Ammonia and the significant contribution of foraminifera to meiobenthic abundance and biomass (37 and 47% respectively) suggest that foraminifera play an important role in the carbon cycle in these sediments. [KEYWORDS: meiobenthos; benthic foraminifera; bacterial biomarkers; algal carbon; carbon cycle; CO2; C-13 labelling Deep-sea; organic-carbon; sedimentation event; metazoan meiofauna; adriatic sea; fatty-acid; phytodetritus; community; microalgae; deposition]

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:10901
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:14 Oct 2013 11:22

Repository Staff Only: item control page