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Spatio-temporal variability within the macrobenthic Abra alba community, with emphasis on the structuring role of Lanice conchilega = Ruimtelijke en temporele variabiliteit binnen de macrobenthische Abra alba gemeenschap met nadruk op de structurerende rol van Lanice conchilega
Van Hoey, G. (2007). Spatio-temporal variability within the macrobenthic Abra alba community, with emphasis on the structuring role of Lanice conchilega = Ruimtelijke en temporele variabiliteit binnen de macrobenthische Abra alba gemeenschap met nadruk op de structurerende rol van Lanice conchilega, in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) (2007). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 2 March 2007: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 39: pp. 79-82
In: Mees, J.; Seys, J. (Ed.) (2007). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 2 March 2007: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 39. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. IX, 82 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

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  • Van Hoey, G. (2006). Spatio-temporal variability within the macrobenthic Abra alba community, with emphasis on the structuring role of Lanice conchilega = Ruimtelijke en temporele variabiliteit binnen de macrobenthische Abra alba gemeenschap met nadruk op de structurerende rol van Lanice conchilega. PhD Thesis. Universiteit Gent. Faculteit Wetenschappen: Gent. 187 pp., more

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Document type: Dissertation

Keywords
    Benthos; Community composition; Ecosystems; Population dynamics; Spatial variations; Temporal variations; Abra alba (W. Wood, 1802) [WoRMS]; Lanice conchilega (Pallas, 1766) [WoRMS]; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Continental Shelf (BCS) [gazetteer]; Marine

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  • Van Hoey, G., more

Abstract
    The Belgian Continental Shelf (BCS) is situated in the southernmost part of the North Sea and is characterized by a high geomorphological and sedimentological diversity in soft - bottom habitats. The combinations of the ecological and the socio-economic values of the BCS cause conflicts between both interests. Initiatives are being taken by the scientific community to optimize the integration of the ecological value of the BCS with those of the different user functions, like shipping, dredging, sand and gravel extraction, fishing and tourism. The govemment has made a start with the implementation of Marine Protected Areas into the law (framework law of 20/01/1999): proposals for such areas have been made and are under investigation. In the mean time, it is important to provide the policy makers with a scientific basis for the development of a sustainable management plan for the natural resources of the BCS. This study focuses on the macrobenthic component of the ecosystem. This component was considered to be suitable to characterize and monitor the marine ecosystem because of its size (macroscopic), its relative immobility and its direct link with the sediment and with the processes that occur immediately above the seabed. This study aimed to investigate the macrobenthic community structure on the BCS, the spatial and temporal variability within the ecologically most important macrobenthic community (Abra alba community) and the importance and population dynamics of an ecologically important species (the sand mason, Lanice conchilega) within this community. Based on the information of a part of the marine ecosystem (macrobenthos), some remarks on the conservation of ecologically important areas or species on the BCS can be formulated.

    In Chapter 2, the different macrobenthic communities and their distribution on the BCS were characterized based on a large number of samples gathered between 1994 and 2000. These samples cover a diverse range of habitats: from the sandy beaches to the open sea, from the gullies between the sandbanks to the tops of the sandbanks, and from clay to coarse sandy sediments. To investigate the large-scale spatial distribution of the macrobenthos of the BCS, the data of 728 samples were combined and analysed. By means of several multivariate techniques, ten sample groups were distinguished. Each sample group is found in a particular physico-chemical environment and has a specific species composition. Four sample groups are differing drastically, both in habitat and species composition, and are considered to represent four macrobenthic communities: (1) the muddy fine sand Abra alba - Mysella bidentata community (further called the Abra alba community) is characterized by high densities and diversity, (2) the Nephtys cirrosa community occurs in well-sorted sandy sediments and is characterized by low densities and diversity, (3) very low densities and diversity typify the Ophelia limacina - Glycera lapidum community, which is found in coarse sandy sediments and (4) the Eurydice pulchra - Scolelepis squamata community is typical for the upper intertidal zone of sandy beaches. Of course these macrobenthic communities are not isolated from each other, but are linked through six transitional species assemblages. The transition between the A. alba - M. bidentata community and the N. cirrosa community, is characterized by a reduction in the mud content and is dominated by Magelona johnstoni. The transition between the N. cirrosa and the O. limacina - G. lapidum community is distinctive by decreasing densities and coincides with a gradual transition between medium to coarse sandy sediments. From the N. cirrosa to the E. pulchra - S. squamata community, transitional species assemblages related to the transition from the subtidal to the intertidal environment, were found. Each community or transitional speci

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