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Use of MicroCT to determine the functional ecology of intertidal infauna

Butterfield, Jonathan


Jonathan Butterfield


M. (Michael), 1952 November 3 Elliott

Krystina Mazik


Intertidal infauna through the process of bioturbation, play a major role in estuarine ecosystem functioning. Despite this, methods to both quantitatively and qualitatively assess the features produced from bioturbation have been limited. This study builds upon the recently developed technique by Mazik et al. (2008), by stabilizing sediment cores and using μCT scanning to obtain burrow parameters along a salinity and elevation gradient. In-situ agar stabilization reduced the collapse of large infaunal biogenic features in sediment cores on intertidal mudflats and accurately determined burrow volumes and surface area of these structures through μCT and three dimensional image processing software, demonstrating that the presence of the polychaete Hediste diversicolor can increase surface area of bioturbated sediments to over 50%. It is likely that agar stabilization may also be an adequate substitute for several other stabilizing techniques used on sub-tidal sediment cores.


Butterfield, J. (2014). Use of MicroCT to determine the functional ecology of intertidal infauna. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jun 11, 2014
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Biological sciences
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Hull
Award Date Feb 1, 2014


Thesis (3.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2014 Butterfield, Jonathan. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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