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Community dynamics of intertidal soft-bottom mussel beds over two decades
Büttger, H.; Asmus, H.; Asmus, R.; Buschbaum, C.; Dittmann, S.; Nehls, G. (2008). Community dynamics of intertidal soft-bottom mussel beds over two decades. Helgol. Mar. Res. 62(1): 23-36. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10152-007-0099-y
In: Helgoland Marine Research. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 1438-387X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 133891 [ MOA ]

Keywords
    Community composition; Ecosystems; Macrobenthos; Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg, 1793) [WoRMS]; Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; ANE, Wadden Sea [Marine Regions]

Authors  Top 
  • Büttger, H.
  • Asmus, H., more
  • Asmus, R., more
  • Buschbaum, C., more
  • Dittmann, S.
  • Nehls, G.

Abstract
    Macrozoobenthos communities in the North Sea showed pronounced changes over the past decade in relation to an increasing number of invasive species and climate change. We analysed data sets spanning 22 years on abundance, biomass and species composition of intertidal soft bottom mussel beds near the island of Sylt (German Bight) in the Northern Wadden Sea, based on surveys from 1983/1984, 1990, 1993 and from 1999 to 2005. Mussel bed area and blue mussel biomass decreased, and a change in the dominance structure in the associated community comparing 1984 to mid-1990s with the period from 1999 to 2005 was observed. Coverage of the mussel beds with the algae Fucus vesiculosus decreased since the end of the 1990s. Within the study period biomass and densities of the associated community increased significantly. Dominance structure changed mainly because of increasing abundances of associated epibenthic taxa. Apart from the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas all other alien species were already present in the area during the study period. Community changes already started before Pacific oysters became abundant. An attempt is made to evaluate effects on the observed changes of decreasing mussel biomass, ageing of mussel beds, decreasing fucoid coverage and increasing abundances of invader. All four factors are assumed to contribute to changing community structure of intertidal mussel beds.

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