Increasing nutrient loads enhance the production of benthic and/or pelagic microalgae (Graneli and Sundback 1985; Howarth, 1988) and, hence, increase the amount of available food for benthic grazers, suspension feeders, and deposit feeders
and ultimately for carnivores.
Benthic invertebrates were designated as carnivores, scavengers, suspension feeders, or deposit feeders
using the classification scheme developed by Walker and Bambach (1974).
Benthic deposit feeders
are likely to gain due to the increase of organic matter in the system (Elmgren et al.
Also, paired t-tests were used to compar e coefficients of variation of densities of suspension and deposit feeders
Increased densities of benthic macroinvertebrates, especially deposit feeders
, have been found in dense zebra mussel colonies in lakes (Dermott et al.
Identification of the food resources assimilated by detritivores in general and deposit feeders
in particular is a difficult problem for ecologists (Lopez et al.
As well as `irrigating' the sediments with oxygen, the deposit feeders
help to mix ammonia and nitrate into usually anaerobic sediments, and their faecal pellets encourage the presence of bacteria.
Moreover, the feeding activities of macrobenthic deposit feeders
(animals that feed by ingesting sediment) can alter the abundance, metabolic activity and composition of the microbial community (Hargrave, 1970; Morrison and White, 1980; Bianchi and Levinton, 1981), which in turn can be linked (through nutrient cycling, for example) with density-dependent consumer effects on resource quality and supply.
Interactions in soft bottom benthic communities: quantitative aspects of behaviour in the surface deposit feeders
Pygospio elegans (Polychaeta) and Macoma balthica (Bivalvia).
As bioturbators, deposit feeders
have a profound influence on the biological, chemical, geological, and even physical properties of their habitat.
1992) included 214 studies on the effect of competition on biomass, grouped into five classes: primary producers (74 studies), deposit feeders
(3 studies), filter feeders (3 studies), herbivores (112 studies), and carnivores (22 studies).
Many deposit feeders
display adaptations that improve their efficiency in sediment processing and food absorption (Lopez and Levinton, 1987), and the filtration of nutrient-rich pore water, such as observed in H.