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Laboratory experiments on growth of juvenile lugworms arenicola marina

Laboratory experiments on growth of juvenile lugworms arenicola marina

Netherlands Journal of Sea Research 13(3-4): 487-502

During a 4 mo. period in 1975, feces production, growth, biomass, maturation and mortality were studied in juvenile lugworms, A. marina, reared in the laboratory at 5 experimental temperatures under restricted and subsidized feeding conditions. Feces production and hence food uptake is dependent on the food content of the sediment. In poor sediments, a smaller and less frequent feces production was measured. The estimate of the size of lugworm populations by counting cast numbers is subject to a considerable bias. With favorable food conditions, even in dense worm populations, a rapid and almost linear length growth from 11 to about 80 mm and an increase in weight from 3.5 to about 200 mg (ash-free dry weight, ADW) was measured. The growth resulted in biomass values as high as 200 g (ADW) m2 or more, values never found in the Wadder Sea [Netherlands]. Restricted feeding conditions caused stagnancy of growth and increased mortality. Retarded growth, as observed in natural populations of O-group worms on the extensive mud flats and on special nursery flats, is attributed to an insufficient food supply on these flats, though these are characterized by a high input of primary organic matter, locally produced and imported from the adjacent North Sea. Over a wide range (5-20.degree. C), the influence of temperature on growth was relatively small. At 25.degree. C, growth was retarded.

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Accession: 005787886

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DOI: 10.1016/0077-7579(79)90020-6

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