Marine Biology

, Volume 160, Issue 10, pp 2687–2697 | Cite as

Mesocosm and in situ observations of the burrowing shrimp Calocaris templemani (Decapoda: Thalassinidea) and its bioturbation activities in soft sediments of the Laurentian Trough

  • Jean-Marc GagnonEmail author
  • Luc Beaudin
  • Norman Silverberg
  • Anne Mauviel
Original Paper


In vivo observations in laboratory mesocosms and aquaria, accompanied with in situ photographic surveys, have shown that the burrowing shrimp Calocaris templemani has a significant impact on bottom sediment dynamics and geochemistry in the St. Lawrence Estuary. This burrowing shrimp establishes and maintains complex semi-permanent burrows made up of several interconnected, ‘U-shaped’ galleries with generally four or more openings to the sediment surface. In the Estuary, at 345 m depth, Calocaris average density was estimated at 3.4 individuals m−2. Observed individual burrows reached a maximum volume of 0.54 L. C. templemani displaces this volume of mostly anoxic sediments from the subsurface layers (down to 15 cm) to the sediment surface, thereby obscuring some of the natural stratification patterns. With an estimated turnover rate of about 8 L m−2 year−1 of sediment, our calculations suggest that over a period of about 18.75 years, all the sediment to a depth of 15 cm will have been reworked by C. templemani alone.


Horizontal Transport Vertical Shaft Burrow Density Lawrence Estuary Opening Diameter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was made possible through financial support for postdoctoral research to the first author (Département d’océanographie, Université du Québec à Rimouski; Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Mont-Joli), financial and logistical support to N. Silverberg by the Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, and a research grant (Programme d’actions structurantes, Université du Québec à Rimouski) to A. Mauviel. We are grateful for the assistance received from the crew of the research vessel Fogo Isle; this project would not have been possible without their hard work. We are very thankful for the support and/or constructive suggestions provided by Bjorn Sundby, Deborah Steele, and Bernard Chenard, Richard Larocque, Denis Guay, and Steve Trottier, to name only a few of the devoted staff of Institut Maurice-Lamontagne that contributed to the Benthocosm Project and this study. Finally, we gratefully acknowledge the many helpful comments and suggestions received from Drs. Eunice H. Pinn and R. James A. Atkinson and two anonymous reviewers; the completion of this paper has benefited substantially from their comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Marc Gagnon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luc Beaudin
    • 2
  • Norman Silverberg
    • 3
  • Anne Mauviel
    • 4
  1. 1.Research and Collections DivisionCanadian Museum of NatureOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Institut Maurice-LamontagneMinistère des Pêches et des Océans CanadaMont-JoliCanada
  3. 3.Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias MarinasLa PazMexico
  4. 4.ADPEP 50Saint LoFrance

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