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The eggs of many planktonic copepods sink to the bottom in coastal waters and become buried beneath several centimeters of sediment where they cannot hatch. Bioturbation by three polychaetes, Nephtys incisa, Cistenides gouldii, and Clymenella torquata, promoted tha burial of diapause eggs of the planktonic copepod Labidocera aestiva in a laboratory study. More important feeding by the two conveyor-belt-feeding species, C. gouldii and C. torquata, promoted the return of buried eggs to the water and water-sediment interface. The viability of the eggs was unaffected by the translocation process and in these new positions eggs were able to hatch. We suggest that in the field bioturbation directly influences the recruitment of individuals into planktonic populations.
Limnology and Oceanography