Axius serratus, a burrowing shrimp capable of living in areas so polluted that other benthic organisms are excluded, has a probable range along the Atlantic coast of North America from Massachusetts Bay to the Arctic. Results of computer simulation of burrowing patterns and rates, based on field data, suggest the possibility of extensive sediment reworking in regions of high Axius densities. Computed rates of sediment overturning, compared with core data, indicate that high densities of Axius in the Strait of Canso area are a recent phenomenon probably connected with recent environmental degradation. Axius serratus may have potential as a pollution-indicator species.

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