Tag Archives: lugworms

Microplastic Pollution, Lugworm Health, and Marine Ecosystems

By Roberta Attanasio, IEAM Blog Editor

Lugworm casts

Lugworm (Arenicola marina) casts, by Nick Veitch, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Lugworms (Arenicola marina) live in muddy sand – they’re a component of the food chain and fishermen look for them because they make great bait. Their presence is given away by the piles of sand (casts) deposited above the burrows in which they live. Each burrow has two openings at the surface. The worm draws sand into the burrow through one of the openings and, following digestion, expels the sand through the other opening, thus carrying out its ecosystem engineering duty – sediment turnover – across beaches on both sides of the North Atlantic.
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