Sabellariid Honeycomb Worm Communities: Reef-Forming Hosts to Diagnostic Nanofloras from Passing Water Masses
Agglutinating sabellariid polycheate worms, known to fishermen in search of bait for line fishing, are creatures of considerable climatic tolerance ranging in distribution from the tropics to the cool temperate. Once classified as members of the Sedentaria on account of their sedentary habit, they are well known for their microbial symbionts and capacity for selecting the particles with which they construct their casements surrounding their soft bodies.
The microbial biofilm forming the initial adhesive support for the selected granular matter act as a natural filter for the nanoplanktic biota which passes over and through the wall during the course of the tidal cycle. The succession of nanofloras are most readily ascribed to a combination of indigenous epilithic species and a preponderance of drifted species which are entrained at the turn of the ebb tide. Thus they form naturally occurring filtrates of a series of passing water masses with distinctive diagnostic properties which are readily illustrated in fractured air dried dried specimens viewed under the back scatter mode of the scanning electron microscope.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California