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The quantitative mapping of food web flows based on empirical data is a crucial yet difficult task in ecology. The difficulty arises from the under-sampling of food webs, because most data sets are incomplete and uncertain. In this article, we review methods to quantify food web flows based on empirical data using linear inverse models (LIM). The food web(More)
The physical mechanism that drives bioirrigation is strongly dependent on the permeability of the sediment. We advance two mechanisms, each described by a corresponding microenvironment model. In muds, burrow water cannot penetrate the sediment, so bioirrigation is intrinsically driven by diffusional transfer across the burrow wall. This ''diffusive'' mode(More)
Bioturbation refers to the biological reworking of soils and sediments, and its importance for soil processes and geomorphology was first realised by Charles Darwin, who devoted his last scientific book to the subject. Here, we review some new insights into the evolutionary and ecological role of bioturbation that would have probably amazed Darwin. In(More)
Because ecosystems fit so nicely the framework of a "dissipative system", a better integration of thermodynamic and ecological perspectives could benefit the quantitative analysis of ecosystems. One obstacle is that traditional food web models are solely based upon the principles of mass and energy conservation, while the theory of non-equilibrium(More)
Globally, the methane (CH4) efflux from the ocean to the atmosphere is small, despite high rates of CH4 production in continental shelf and slope environments. This low efflux results from the biological removal of CH4 through anaerobic oxidation with sulfate in marine sediments. In some settings, however, pore water CH4 is found throughout the(More)
Lophelia pertusa is the dominant reef-building organism of cold-water coral reefs, and is known to produce significant amounts of mucus, which could involve an important metabolic cost. Mucus is involved in particle removal and feeding processes, yet the triggers and dynamics of mucus production are currently still poorly described because the existing(More)
Coastal marine systems are currently subject to a variety of anthropogenic and climate-change-induced pressures. An important challenge is to predict how marine sediment communities and benthic biogeochemical cycling will be affected by these ongoing changes. To this end, it is of paramount importance to first better understand the natural variability in(More)
Recently, a novel mode of sulphur oxidation was described in marine sediments, in which sulphide oxidation in deeper anoxic layers was electrically coupled to oxygen reduction at the sediment surface. Subsequent experimental evidence identified that long filamentous bacteria belonging to the family Desulfobulbaceae likely mediated the electron transport(More)
Insight in the biogeochemistry and ecology of sandy sediments crucially depends on a quantitative description of pore water flow and the associated transport of various solutes and particles. We show that widely different problems can be modelled by the same flow and tracer equations. The principal difference between model applications concerns the geometry(More)