Life cycle, demography, and production of Marenzelleria viridis in a salt marsh of southern New England Academic Article uri icon


  • Population dynamics and production of the spionid polychaete Marenzelleria viridis were studied at Great Sippewissett salt marsh (Massachusetts, USA) for two years. Marenzelleria viridis was the main contributor in biomass and production to the macroinfaunal assemblages of the sandy organic sediments of the marsh. Marenzelleria viridis spawned during the cold part of the year and the appearance of settled larvae on sediments was observed from January to May. The density of M. viridis rose sharply from winter to late spring followed by a striking drop through summer. The estimated mean annual production of M. viridis was 60.0 g dry weight m2 during the first year and 26.3 g dry weight m2 during the second year. The population of M. viridis is affected by different processes during the year. The number of initial recruits seems to be largely governed by meteorological conditions. The numbers of recruits are then affected by competition for resources, and later, as predators become active, predation pressure determines the abundance of the population of M. viridis.

publication date

  • August 1995