Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Keith Douglass, Roger Williams University

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The Impact of Ammonium on the Hrowth of Arenicola cristata Within Light and Dark Treatments


Arenicola cristata larvae were exposed to treatments of sediment with high levels of ammonium. These treatments were placed within dark and light areas. We measured growth of A. cristata under the different treatments and compared them to a control of natural sediment under a light area. We also did HPLC analysis on the sediments to look for phyto-pigments. We found that the light treatment had significantly higher growth compared to the other treatments. Not surprising the light treatment also had significantly higher concentrations of phyto-pigments. This leads us to believe that A. cristata larvae grow better in areas with high concentrations of ammonium. A. cristata larvae have been observed avoiding recruitment in such environments, despite the benefits for growth.