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Marine Ecology-Progress Series

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Abstract/ Summary

Techniques currently in use by sedimentologists for the study of marine sedment microfabric are of limited use for understandmg the relationship between sediment organic matter and mineral grains. In this article it is shown that by combining standard histological protocols for fixation and dehydration with petrological protocols for resin embedding and thin sectioning, very fine details of the sediment structure can be seen. Because of the ubiquitous presence of the organic matrix, organicmineral aggregates are not seen in situ. Other features of the sediment of importance to deposit-feeders, such as the presence of intact chloroplasts, can be observed through the use of epifluorescence illumination, while partially crossed polarizers help to delimit the grain boundaries. It is suggested that if these procedures can be combined with histological staining techniques, it may be possible to determine the potential food value of sedment on a scale equivalent to that perceived by infaunal deposit-feeders.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Watling L. Small-Scale Features of Marine Sediments and Their Importance to the Study of Deposit-Feeding. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 1988;47(2): 135-144.

Publisher Statement

Copyright 1988 Inter-Research.




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