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Microphytobenthos communities in the freshwater tidal to brackish reaches of the Schelde estuary (Belgium)
Muylaert, K.; van Nieuwerburgh, L.; Sabbe, K.; Vyverman, W. (2002). Microphytobenthos communities in the freshwater tidal to brackish reaches of the Schelde estuary (Belgium). Belg. J. Bot. 135(1-2): 15-26
In: Belgian Journal of Botany. Royal Botanical Society of Belgium: Brussels. ISSN 0778-4031, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 273724 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Microbenthos; Phytobenthos; Brackish water; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Muylaert, K., more
  • van Nieuwerburgh, L.
  • Sabbe, K., more
  • Vyverman, W., more

Abstract
    In late summer 1995, intertidal flats situated in the freshwater tidal and brackish reaches of the Schelde estuary were sampled to study the microphytobenthos in the upper estuarine reaches. Diatoms dominated the microphytobenthos community at all sites while coccoid green algae, flagellates or cyanobacteria never contributed significantly to total cell abundance. Epipelic and epipsammic diatoms were the dominant organisms at the brackish sites and disappeared in the oligolialine and freshwater sites, where, planktonic diatoms dominated the microphytobenthos community. In oligolialine to freshwater tidal reaches, a turbidity maximum is present which is maintained by repeated resuspension and sedimentation of suspended matter from and to the intertidal areas. Probably, this intense reworking of the sediment surface prevents epipelic and epipsammic diatoms from colonising intertidal mudflats in this part of the estuary.

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