More facts about Monoporeia affinis
In the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland, the bottom
fauna consists almost totally of Monoporeia affinis, Saduria
entomon and Baltic
macomas . Monoporeia affinis is the most common of these specie,
often comprising 90 % of the total number of individuals.
Eats and eaten
Monoporeia affinis eats mainly plankton
that has fallen to the bottom. It also disturbs or even eats Baltic
macomas; mussel larvae that attach to the bottom close to monoporeia
affinis can often find it difficult to survive. The mussels either
die when their shells are crushed by monoporeia soon after they
have attached to the bottom, or when they are buried by the tube-like
tunnels that monoporeia builds. If the mussel reaches a size of
1mm, they usually survive monoporeia´s activities and can
coexist within the same area. Monoporeia itself is preyed upon
the polychaete Harmothoe sarsi and cod.
Ice age relic
it is believed that Monoporeia wandered into the Baltic areas from
the Barents Sea at the end of the last ice age when the ice caps were
melting. Because it is still found in many brackish and fresh water areas
around the Barents Sea, the Baltic population is known as an ice age relic.
Monoporeia is found in many lakes.
As with Saduria,
the eggs and embryo of Monoporeia are sensitive to lack of oxygen
and pollution. They are therefore used frequently to judge the environmental
state of the Baltic.
Monoporeia can often be as old as 1-2 years.