Oxygen uptake rates of both benthal deposits and tubificids can have relevant effects on the oxygen concentration of flowing waters. These effects were evaluated in an especially built apparatus on a continuous-flow basis and with natural sediments. The oxygen uptake rate was independent of sediment depth when this exceeded about 4 cm. The dissolved oxygen in the overlying water affects the oxygen consumption of mud and animals only at concentrations <4 and 2 mg/l respectively. Temperature influences the oxygen uptake of both components according to a coefficient t varying from 0 . 027 to 0 . 110/° C. In muds freed from macro-invertebrates the consumption increase per 1° C is correlated with the oxygen demand of the sediment. The irrigational effect due to the uplifting work of tubificids causes an oxygen consumption increase of the sediment which varies with the animals density and can reach a maximum of 6 to 7 times that of sediments without worms.
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