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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2000

Interaction between water flow and oxygen deficiency on growth in the infaunal brittle star Amphiura filiformis (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea)

Nilsson, Hans


Interactions between 'oxygen concentration' (normoxia: >80% oxygen saturation, and hypoxia: 18% oxygen saturation) and 'water flow velocity' (low: 0.1 cm s(-1), and moderate: 0.5 cm s(-1)) were studied on growth rates in the brittle star Amphiura filiformis in a flow-through aquaria system. Effects of 'sublethal predation' on growth rates were investigated as 'number of amputated arms' (1 and 3 arms) and 'amputation of the disk'. A significant interaction between oxygen concentration and water how velocity was observed in mean arm regeneration rate, but in both flow velocities higher mean arm regeneration rates were observed in normoxia compared to hypoxia. In hypoxia a positive response in arm regeneration rate was observed in moderate flow compared to low flow velocity. In normoxia, however, no response to flow velocity was observed. The latter observation indicates that Amphiura filiformis is able to maintain the ventilation of the burrow at low flow velocities. but in low oxygen concentrations hydrodynamic forces seem to affect growth. A significant interaction between oxygen concentration and disk amputation was observed in both arm and disk regeneration rates, indicating that the disk is the major organ for gas exchange in this species. The number of arms amputated, however, did not affect mean arm regeneration rate. The results obtained in this study suggest that the secondary production in subtidal infaunal populations could be negatively affected by low oxygen concentrations and that this response is even more negative in combination with low flow velocities in the near-bottom water. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


hypoxia; eutrophication; arm regeneration; water current; benthos; energy translocation

Published in

Journal of Sea Research
2000, volume: 44, number: 3-4, pages: 233-241

Authors' information

University of Gothenburg

UKÄ Subject classification


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