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Bacteria defend carrion from scavengers

  • Paul K. Dayton (a1), John S. Oliver (a2), Simon F. Thrush (a3) and Kamille Hammerstrom (a2)

Abstract

Carrion in the form of dead seal pups and algal mats placed on soft bottom habitats at Explorers Cove and Salmon Bay, McMurdo Sound, attract scavenging invertebrates that are driven away by hydrogen sulphide produced by sulphate-reducing bacteria sequestered below a layer of Beggiatoa/Thioploca-like filamentous bacteria. This system is usually found for lipid-rich marine mammal carrion, but also occurred with natural algal mats.

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