Walrus feeding disturbance: Scavenging habits and recolonization of the Bering Sea benthos

Primary tabs

Oliver, J. S., Kvitek, R. G., & Slattery, P. N. (1985). Walrus feeding disturbance: Scavenging habits and recolonization of the Bering Sea benthos. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 91(3), 233-246.
Metadata
TitleWalrus feeding disturbance: Scavenging habits and recolonization of the Bering Sea benthos
AuthorsS. Oliver, G. Kvitek, N. Slattery
AbstractWalruses (Odobenus rosmarus Illiger) influenced the structure of macrobenthic assemblages in a variety of ways as they excavated their major bivalve prey from soft sediments. Benthic animals were attracted to discarded bivalve shells and they colonized pits and furrows made during prey excavation. Discarded shells contained soft tissues that were eaten by several invertebrate scavengers. The most abundant and widespread scavenger was the sea star, Asterias amurensis Lutken. Sea stars out-competed brittle stars (Amphiodia craterodmeta Clark) for fresh scavenging events. They also attacked brittle stars under shells in the laboratory, and thus may have obtained two meals from discarded shells by eating remnant tissue and by consuming animals that used the shell as a habitat. In nature, brittle stars were abundant under discarded shells. In experiments, brittle stars invaded shells with soft tissue in the absence of sea stars, but not in their presence. In other experiments, brittle stars were most abundant under shells with soft tissue, but were also attracted to shells without organic matter. Large brittle stars were more abundant under shells than in the surrounding bottom, and the reverse was true of small individuals. Bottom communities recovered gradually inside experimental feeding excavations, which were not invaded by large numbers of opportunistic infaunal or epifaunal invertebrates. This is in contrast to gray whale feeding excavations, which are colonized by a large number of opportunistic peracarid crustaceans. © 1985.
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Date1985
Volume91
Issue3
Start page233
End page246
ISSN00220981
NoteCited By (since 1996):32, CODEN: JEMBA

Bookmark

Bookmarks: