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Changes in the macrozoobenthos of the intertidal zone at Helgoland (German Bight, North Sea): A survey of 1984 repeated in 2002
Reichert, K.; Buchholz, F. (2006). Changes in the macrozoobenthos of the intertidal zone at Helgoland (German Bight, North Sea): A survey of 1984 repeated in 2002. Helgol. Mar. Res. 60(3): 213-223. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10152-006-0037-4
In: Helgoland Marine Research. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 1438-387X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Intertidal zonation; Marine invertebrates; Rocky shores; ANE, Germany, German Bight [Marine Regions]; ANE, North Sea [Marine Regions]; Marine

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Abstract
    Changes in the presence and absence of invertebrates as well as in species conspicuousness were documented in a rocky intertidal community based on surveys in 1984 and 2002. In 2002 six vertically and/or morphologically different stations of an intertidal platform were sampled. Five of these six habitats had already been surveyed in 1984. Replicating precisely the method of the first assessment, presence/ absence changes as well as changes in species conspicuousness of 83 invertebrate species were documented, indicating that this intertidal community changed considerably during the 18-year interval. Compared with the study in 1984, 27 species newly appeared, whereas 32 species disappeared. Furthermore, 16 species increased in conspicuousness, whereas eight invertebrates decreased. The total number of species in 2002 was 154 versus 158 in 1984. Although algal species were not recorded as thoroughly as invertebrates, a massive decline in cover of Halidrys siliquosa was noted. Conversely, two invasive algal species became established after 1984, Sargassum muticum (since 1988), a cosmopolitan fucoid alga that prefers shallow subtidal areas for colonization, and Mastocarpus stellatus (introduction in the 1980s) that particularly colonized areas in the mid intertidal. In 1984 the mid intertidal zone was dominated by the brown alga Fucus serratus, whereas in 2002 the blue mussel Mytilus edulis and the periwinkle Littorina littorea were the most conspicuous organisms. Annual mean sea surface temperature (BAH measurements) warmed by 1.1 °C over the past four decades. Range-related community shifts, introductions of non-indigenous species and the input of pollutants, are considered to explain long-term ecological changes in the invertebrate community at Helgoland.

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