The Relationship between Macrofaunal Abundance and Composition, Particle Mixing, and Sediment Irrigation: In Situ Experiments in Buzzards Bay


Project Duration: 6/1/96-12/31/98
Key Words: Buzzards Bay, particles, contaminants, benthic cycling, Nepthys incisa

Proposal Abstract

Chemical contamination appears initially and most intensely where the coastal ocean meets the seafloor. Here, contaminants can have subtle effects, especially on commercial resources (for example, fish and shellfish) and possibly on human health. RCRC research projects study the complex mix of physical, biological, and chemical processes that move contaminants across the sediment-water interface. For example, scientists are conducting on-site experiments in Buzzards Bay to learn how a polychaete worm (Nepthys incisa) affects the movement of chemicals and particles at this interface. Knowledge of the natural cycling of bioactive chemicals and sedimentary pollutants helps us develop rational resource management and remediation policies.