[Annelida] sewage-induce polychaete reef

roelias from mdp.edu.ar via annelida%40net.bio.net (by roelias from mdp.edu.ar)
Wed Dec 9 21:20:38 EST 2009

Hi Christy
Fascinating yes, and a little bit terrifying (I love the title of one of
you recommended papers “national pest”!).
We started in 2007 the study of the populational dynamics of "Boccardia
polybranchia" that were associated to mytilids beds near the outfall
before reef formation. This species form also patches among the little
mussels (Brachidontes) and were successfully used as indicator of
moderated organic contamination (Elias et al., 2003 and 2006).
However this "new" species is different (invader...?). We have written a
manuscript to Marine Pollution Bulletin, but the Editor considers
(November) the phenomenon is only of local relevance... (It is my fault to
born in Latin America). We observed the exclusion of the mussels,
suffocated by Boccardia reef. The stony-rocks (dominant hard substrate)
were covered totally by a thick layer (more than 30 cm height) of tube
worms. People can walk over and over
 including tourists (a poster
recommended not to swing because you are at 1,200 m from sewage effluent).
Like other spionids brood into the tube several capsules with nursery eggs
and one or two larvae.
Experimentally (last week) we proved a total recovery to small disturbance
in 3-4 days. The reef also support the storm season (April to September
Well Christy thank you for your interest. Good trek to Caifornia
 and if
you can send me the articles!
Cheers wormly

>> Hi Rodolfo,
>> Fascinating! Can you tell us a bit more about these reefs? When did they
>> form and how long have they persisted? I've been studying beds formed by
>> Boccardia proboscidea and Dipolydora sp. in Bodega Harbor (Central
>> California). Densities are in the tens of thousands per m2, which is
>> much
>> less dense than you find. They form patches of dense tubes and mucky
>> sediment rather than reefs. The patches are adjacent to areas with
>> almost no
>> spionids and high densities of phoronids. I've been studying the ecology
>> of
>> these patches, including why the patches persist over multiple
>> generations
>> adjacent to a very different community type. There are similar patches
>> of
>> Boccardia proboscidea in other NE Pacific locations and SE Australia
>> near a
>> sewage outfall as well as records of other bed-forming spionids.
>> Here are the references I have for Boccardia proboscidea in Australia
>> (where it is invasive):
>> Dorsey, J. 1982. "Intertidal community offshore from the Werribee
>> sewage-treatment farm: an opportunistic infaunal assemblage."
>> *Australian
>> Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research* *33*: 45-54.
>> Hayes, K., C. Sliwa, S. Migus, F. McEnnulty, P. Dunstan. 2004. "National
>> priority pests." *CSIRO Marine Research Report.*
>> Newall, B., R. Molloy, et al. 1999. Environmental impact assesment and
>> review of effluent disposal options for Eastern Treatment Plant.
>> Wembley,
>> Australia, CSIRO.
>> I have a few more references for other occurrences of spionid beds that
>> I
>> can send when I return home next week.
>> Cheers,
>> Christy Bowles
>> --
>> Christy Bowles
>> PhD Candidate
>> Bodega Marine Lab and Graduate Group in Ecology
>> University of California, Davis
>> http://www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/grosholz/people/bowles.htm
>> cmbowles from ucdavis.edu
>> On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 12:15 PM, Rodolfo Elias <roelias from mdp.edu.ar>
>> wrote:
>>> Dear all
>>> I want to know if some of you have some references about polychaetes
>>> that build "reefs" in sewage-impacted areas.
>>> >From spring 2008 the area around Mar del Plata's sewage discharges (SW
>>> Atlantic) almost all intertidal areas are covered by sand-tubes of
>>> Boccardia sp. (possibly a not described species), forming reef
>>> structures. Density can reach 650,000 ind.m-2, and this reef can
>>> support
>>> a person walking over. The reefs supports also all the autumn-winter
>>> storms.
>>> There are a student dealing with these (large number of) worms, and any
>>> info will be welcome!
>>> Hoping to see you in Lecce!
>>> Wormly
>>> Rodolfo Elias
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> --
> Christy Bowles
> Bodega Marine Lab
> Graduate Group in Ecology
> cmbowles from ucdavis.edu
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