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The ecology of estuarine intertidal flats: the example of the Westerschelde
Heip, C.H.R.; Herman, P.M.J.; Middelburg, J.J.; Moodley, L.; Soetaert, K.; Ysebaert, T.J. (2005). The ecology of estuarine intertidal flats: the example of the Westerschelde, in: Wilson, J.G. (Ed.) The intertidal ecosystem: the value of Ireland’s shores. pp. 179-195
In: Wilson, J.G. (Ed.) (2005). The intertidal ecosystem: the value of Ireland’s shores. Royal Irish Academy: Dublin. ISBN 1-904890-09-1. 206 pp., more

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 101679 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Benthos; Biodiversity; Estuaries; Tidal flats; ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Heip, C.H.R., more
  • Herman, P.M.J., more
  • Middelburg, J.J., more

Abstract
    The ecology of estuarine intertidal flats is characterised by low species diversity and high productivity. The consequences of these two main characteristics have been investigated in detail on an intertidal flat in the Schelde estuary in the Netherlands. The existence of a species minimum in the oligohaline section of the estuary, as postulated by Remane, could not be confirmed for nematodes and macrofauna for the Schelde, nor for several other European estuaries. Rather, a linear decrease in species richness from the sea to the freshwater was observed. The productivity of estuarine tidal flats depends on an in situ source of primary produced material, the microphytobenthos, as well as on the capacity of the macrofauna to transfer material from the water column to the sediments. Avery rapid transfer of 13C labelled carbon from primary production to the higher trophic levels was observed.

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