Investigating changes in the chemical composition of wood upon digestion by wood-boring Bivalves of the sub-family Xylophagaidae, and potential implications for marine biogeochemical cycles
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The sub-family of molluscs Xylophagaidae are the primary degraders of wood in the oceans. They are part of an opportunistic ecosystem, which survives on temporary falls of large organic matter, such as carcasses and wood debris. After digesting the wood with the help of symbiotic bacteria, Xylophagaidae excrete a pulp like substance, which lines the walls of their burrows. The nutrients in the broken down wood becomes accessible to other forms of life, and growing populations create anoxic environments, which encourage chemoautotrophic activity. This research aims to identify the role that Xylopohagaidae play in the biogeochemical cycles of certain elements, by investigating the changes in wood chemical composition after digestion by these wood-borers.
Cope, B. (2019) 'Investigating changes in the chemical composition of wood upon digestion by wood-boring Bivalves of the sub-family Xylophagaidae, and potential implications for marine biogeochemical cycles', The Plymouth Student Scientist, 12(1), p.396-439.