Marenzelleria viridis

Craeymeersch, Johan craeymer at
Thu Dec 14 12:18:00 EST 1995

The North Amercian spionid _Marenzelleria (Scolecolepides) viridis_ 
(Verrill, 1873) was first reported in European waters in 1982 (McLusky et 
al., 1993). Since then, the polychaete has spread into several estuaries 
around the North Sea and also appeard in the Baltic Sea. Essink and Kleef 
(1993) formulated a hypothesis regarding the possible mode by which the 
spionid polychaete was able to spread.: a second introduction in the Ems 
estuary; and the anti-clockwise water circulation pattern from the two sites 
of introduction (Forth estuary, Ems estuary). Given the genetic differences 
between the North Sea and Baltic populations, the Baltic populations 
probably result from a third introduction (Bastrop et al. 1995).

Last week, specimens of this polychaete were found in the south-west of the 
Netherlands. The benthic fauna of this area, built op by several estuaries, 
was studied intensively by Wolff (1973). Since then the area has been 
changed profoundly my major coastal engineering projects. Several  estuaries 
have been dammed and in the Oosterschelde a storm-surge barrier has been 
built. As a result, some of the estuaries were turned into non-tidal lakes 
or lagoons filled with brackish or saline water.

We might expect Marenzelleria to start colonizing the whole area. In the 
southern Baltic it has become the dominant macrobenthos species (Zettler et 
al., 1995), and given the different water bodies in the Delta area, this may 
happen here as well. Therefore, I am looking for references on the 
distribution of this species in America, and on the ecology of this species.

Thanks in advance,

Johan Craeymeersch
Netherlands Institute of Ecology
Centre for Estuarine and Coastal Ecology
Vierstraat 28
NL-4401 EA Yerseke
the Netherlands

craeymer at

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