Macro-invertebrate populations and production on a salt-marsh in east England dominated by Spartina anglica

D. Jackson, C. F. Mason, S. P. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The populations and production of the macroinvertebrates of a Spartina anglica salt-marsh in eastern England were studied over two years. A total of fifteen species were recorded in the sediments, of which twelve species were of regular occurrence, and the total population density recorded ranged from 3,481 m-2 to 11,444m-2 over the twenty-four sampling occasions.The four most abundant species were Nereis diversicolor, Tubifex costatus, Corophium volutator and Hydrobia ulvae. Thirteen further taxa were associated with the canopy of Spartina, with a total population density ranging from 0 to 1,149 m-2. Total monthly standing crop ranged from 1.8 to 8.5 g C m-2 with peaks in July/August in both years. Nereis diversicolor contributed 55% to 86% of total biomass in each month. Production and respiration for each species was determined and annual assimilation calculated. The total annual production was ∼16 g C m-2 a-1 in both 1979 and 1980, with a corresponding assimilation of ∼60 g C m-2 a-1Nereis diversicolar accounted for >80% of production and assimilation in both years, and the species is clearly of considerable potential importance in the dissipation of Spartina material. The canopy dwelling species accounted for about 1% of the total annual production and assimilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-411
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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