BIOTIC Species Information for Corophium volutator
|Researched by||Ken Neal & Penny Avant||Data supplied by||MarLIN|
|Refereed by||This information is not refereed.|
||Feeding method||See additional information
Surface deposit feeder
Active suspension feeder
|Typical food types||Particulate organic matter, epipelic (=living on fine sediment) and epipsammic (= living on sand) bacteria and diatoms.||Habit||Burrow dwelling|
|Bioturbator||Flexibility||High (>45 degrees)|
|Height||Not relevant||Growth Rate||8 - 11 mm/year|
|Adult dispersal potential||1km-10km||Dependency||Independent|
|General Biology Additional Information||Abundance
Corophium volutator is one of the most abundant organisms in estuarine mudflats reaching densities of 100,000 m² in the Stour Estuary, Suffolk (Hughes, 1988). Densities vary with geographical region and season. In Gullmarsfjorden, Wadden Sea winter densities are 100 m² and rise to 1400 m² in the summer (Flach & de Bruin, 1993). In the Crouch Estuary in southeast England, Corophium volutator number 6,000 m² in winter and rise to 50,000 m² in the summer (Gerdol & Hughes, 1993).
There is no dispersive larval phase in the life history of Corophium volutator, instead, the embryos develop in a ventral thoracic brood pouch and emerge as miniature replicas of their parents and build a burrow off that of the parent (Hughes, 1988). Reproduction ceases below 7°C (McLusky, 1968) so, in the winter, predation significantly decreases the density of Corophium volutator.
Corophium volutator has the habit of swimming when immersed, which makes them available as prey for the common goby (Pomatoschistus microps) (Flach & de Bruin, 1994), herring (Clupea harengus), sprat (Sprattus sprattus) and smelt (Osmerus eperlanus) (Essink et al., 1989). The swimming behaviour of Corophium volutator has been reported by several authors. In the Ems Estuary, Wadden Sea, it was estimated that 0.06% of the population (3 x 108 individuals) swim on the flood of each tide, leading to a net landward movement of the population (Essink et al. 1989). In the Stour Estuary, southeast England, Corophium volutator was found to swim only at night, on or around spring tides and only between May and August. It was estimated that on any one tide 6-19% of the population swam and that it was mainly immature animals that swam (Hughes, 1988). Holmström & Morgan (1983a) also found this species swimming at spring tide, mainly on the ebb just after high tide. Corophium volutator is a poor swimmer and is vulnerable to predation whilst in the water column, so there must be a benefit to swimming that outweighs the risk of predation. Hughes (1988) proposed several theories as to why Corophium volutator would elect to swim:
Corophium volutator ingests particles 4 -63 µm in diameter. Food consists of bacteria, diatoms and particulate organic matter (POM) (Gerdol & Hughes, 1994a; Hughes, 1988; Jensen & Kristensen, 1990). There has been some disagreement in the literature about which of these is the most important in the diet. Diatoms are crushed individually to avoid ingestion of siliceous frustules, thus it is difficult to estimate rate of diatom consumption by Corophium volutator (Gerdol & Hughes, 1994a). Feeding occurs at all stages of the tide, suspension feeding at high tide and deposit feeding at low tide. Three modes of feeding have been recorded in Corophium volutator.
|Biology References||Hughes, 1988, Essink et al., 1989, Jensen & Kristensen, 1990, Raffaelli et al., 1991, Gerdol & Hughes, 1993, Flach & de Bruin, 1993, Holmström & Morgan, 1983a, Flach & de Bruin, 1994, Gerdol & Hughes, 1994a, Gerdol & Hughes, 1994b, Forbes et al., 1996, Fish & Mills, 1979, Limia & Raffaelli, 1997, Brown et al., 1999, McLusky, 1968,|