Spatio-temporal variations in intertidal mudflat erodability: Marennes-Oléron Bay, western France

TitreSpatio-temporal variations in intertidal mudflat erodability: Marennes-Oléron Bay, western France
Type de publicationJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuteursOrvain, F, Sauriau, P-G, Le Hir, P, Guillou, G, Cann, P, Paillard, M
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Mots-clésBioturbation, EPS, Eris, Erodability, Hydrobia ulvae, Intertidal mudflat, Microphytobenthos, Resuspension, Scrobicularia plana, Sediment

A portable erosion device (ERIS) was deployed in November 2000 and May 2001 to investigate the spatio-temporal variation of fine-grained sediment erosion over a transect on the intertidal mudflats of Marennes-Oléron Bay, western France. The objective was to relate changes in bed erodability over diurnal emersion periods to bioturbation, rapid changes in sediment characteristics, and microphytobenthos biomass.Macrofaunal assemblages were dominated by the bivalve, \_Scrobicularia plana\_, on the upper mudflat, and by the gastropod, Hydrobia ulvae, on the middle mudflat. A power relationship was obtained where τcr was plotted as a function of sediment density. Results from the upper part of the mudflat deviated from this relationship due to bioturbation by S. plana. No influence of microphytobenthos (either chlorophyll a or extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) content) was found on τcr. The bivalve feeding activities altered consolidated sediments (sediment dry mass concentration of not, vert, similar700 g l−1) so that they became resuspended easily (τcr<1 Pa). Fluff layer erosion was observed, with an erosion rate dependent upon the biomass of H. ulvae. It was also found that bioturbation by H. ulvae was implicated (combined with grazing activities) in chl a resuspension during the erosion of the fluff layer. Snail bioturbation stimulated the chl a enrichment of eroded material, whilst the high snail biomass produced a decrease in suspended chl a due to higher grazing rates.