Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Tracy Jo Williams, Florida Southern College

Class Year: 

Project Title: 

The Effects of Population Densities and Behavior of Macoma balthica on Nutrient Exchange and Primary Production in Coastal Sediments


The soft bottom coastal sediments of the Chesapeake Bay are inhabited by several species of macroinvertebrates. The geochemistry of the sediment is affected by the activities of the fauna within the sediment. It is important to understand how organisms affect the habitat in which they live inorder to understand how other species will be affected. The feeding behavior of a tentilid clam, Macoma balthica, in varying population densities was studied in laboratory conditions. The effects on nutrient flux, pore water, and primary production were analyzed in relation to population density.