|Bivalve vulnerability to storm-induced erosion: A flume experiment
Craft, T. (2021). Bivalve vulnerability to storm-induced erosion: A flume experiment. MSc Thesis. NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Yerseke. 17 pp.
The internship was conducted at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) in the Estuarine and Delta Systems (EDS) department in Yerseke, The Netherlands. During the internship, a total of 75 flume experiments were conducted from mid-Oct to mid-Dec to determine the effect of erosion rates on the burrowing ability of juvenile and adult macrozoobenthic bivalves. The bivalves used in the experiment were Cerastoderma edule and Limecola balthica, which were collected in various sites throughout the Oosterschelde estuary. The erosion flume was built in early 2019 and was designed to simulate high erosion events in a controlled setting by running a water current through a channel over an upward-moving sediment core. The previous pilot projects analyzed variables such as sediment type, erosion speed, and species, but a clear relationship between bivalve size and burrowing capacity has been unclear until now. Results show a strong positive correlation between increasing bivalve size and the ability to remain burrowed for both species. These findings contribute to an increased scientific understanding of abiotic-biotic interactions in tidal systems and can be applied in modeling macrozoobenthic bivalve population dynamics following storm events.