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Title: The influence of infaunal bioturbation on ecosystem processes in the sediment mixed layer
Author: Teal, Lorna Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 1050
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
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The significant contribution of infaunal mediated particle movement to depth of the mixed layer, the subduction rates of phytodetritus, the recycling of nutrients and the flux of materials from the sediment to the water column as well as the diversification of marine life and the global extent of bioturbation, makes it a key process in the marine ecosystem, which is well recognized.  The present thesis investigates specifically the links between bioturbation (ecosystem process) and ecosystem function (the depth of sediment mixing, trace metal cycling) through the development of novel in situ methodology and analytical techniques. It is clear that a standardisation and validation of current proxies used for benthic habitat quality assessments are necessary to inform the management of habitat frameworks and that these must consider the influence of a multitude of environmental processes on bioturbation function relations.  The simultaneous use of multi-disciplinary techniques allows biogeochemical processes to be interpreted in light of recent infaunal activity, facilitating a better understanding of underlying mechanisms of species-function relations.  In situ studies highlight the inherent heterogeneity in marine sediment environments, as well as the scale and context dependant nature of species-function relations.  Together, this thesis highlights the need for simultaneous acquisition of high resolution spatio-temporal data under natural environmental conditions to understand underlying mechanisms of how different processes influence and interact with each other.  An immediate challenge for linking in situ species-function-environment relations is to reconcile the difference in spatial and temporal scales of the different processes in question.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available