Predation of intertidal infauna on juveniles of the bivalve Macoma balthica

J.G. Hiddink, R. ter Hofstede, W.J. Wollf

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Juveniles of the bivalve Macoma balthica live on tidal flats in the Wadden Sea. This study examined the interaction of Macoma with the infaunal polychaetes Arenicola marina and Nereis diversicolor and the gastropod Retusa obtusa. The distribution of M. balthica spat on the flats, shortly after settlement in April, showed a positive correlation with the Arenicola distribution and a negative correlation with Nereis distribution. There were no locations where Macoma spat and Retusa occurred together. In August, Macoma spat had grown too large for predation by inter-tidal infauna. Small individuals of Macoma spat were found in stomachs of Arenicola (0.14 worm(-1)) and Nereis (0.05 worm(-1)). Laboratory experiments showed that Nereis and Retusa could reduce Macoma spat abundance, both in the absence and presence of sediment and alternative prey. Arenicola reduced the abundance of small Macoma (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-159
JournalJournal of Sea Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • nereis-diversicolor muller,o.f.
  • lugworm arenicola-marina
  • dutch wadden sea
  • tidal flats
  • corophium-volutator
  • cerastoderma-edule
  • pumping activity
  • soft sediments
  • severe winter
  • recruitment


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