Use of MicroCT to determine the functional ecology of intertidal infauna

Butterfield, Jonathan

Biological sciences
February 2014

Thesis or dissertation


Rights
© 2014 Jonathan Butterfield. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Abstract

Intertidal infauna through the process of bioturbation, play a major role in estuarine ecosystem functioning. Despite this, methods to both quantitatively and qualitatively assess the features produced from bioturbation have been limited. This study builds upon the recently developed technique by Mazik et al. (2008), by stabilizing sediment cores and using μCT scanning to obtain burrow parameters along a salinity and elevation gradient. In-situ agar stabilization reduced the collapse of large infaunal biogenic features in sediment cores on intertidal mudflats and accurately determined burrow volumes and surface area of these structures through μCT and three dimensional image processing software, demonstrating that the presence of the polychaete Hediste diversicolor can increase surface area of bioturbated sediments to over 50%. It is likely that agar stabilization may also be an adequate substitute for several other stabilizing techniques used on sub-tidal sediment cores.

Publisher
Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Hull
Supervisor
Elliott, M. (Michael), 1952 November 3-; Mazik, Krystina
Qualification level
Masters
Qualification name
MSc
Language
English
Extent
3 MB
Identifier
hull:8523
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