|Ecosystem engineered habitats as potential food resource for several juvenile flatfish species|
Van de Moortel, L. (2009). Ecosystem engineered habitats as potential food resource for several juvenile flatfish species. MSc Thesis. MareLac: Gent. 36 pp.
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- VLIZ: Archive VLIZ ARCHIVE A.THES13 
- VLIZ: Non-open access 230552
|Document type: Dissertation|
Ecosystems; Food availability; Food preferences; Geographical distribution; Population density; Stomach content; Lanice conchilega (Pallas, 1766) [WoRMS]; Limanda limanda (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Owenia fusiformis Delle Chiaje, 1844 [WoRMS]; Pleuronectes platessa Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; ANE, Belgium [gazetteer]; ANE, Netherlands [gazetteer]; ANE, Wadden Sea [gazetteer]; Marine
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This study was carried out to obtain an general understanding of the effect of ecosystem engineered habitats on higher trophc levels. This was tested by comparing zones with and without ecosystem engineers for three flatfish species P. platessa, L. limanda and S. solea; for two age classes and for two ecosystem engineers who were present in two geographical areas (the Belgian part of the North Sea was characterised by L. conchilega, while the Dutch part of the Wadden Sea was dominated by 0. fusiformis). The first part focused on the distribution patterns of the flatfish species. These were for both ages more abundant in the ecosystem engineered patches. The second part of the study investigated the relation of the flatfish densities with the zones where they occurred (patches with or without ecosystem engineers). This was based on stomach analyses of P. platessa an L. limanda. The density of P. platessa occurring in the ecosystem engineered zones could be explained by the food availability. Limanda limand however, did not rely on ecosystem engineered systems as a food source, but preferred zones with the highest abundance of their favourable food, Caprellidae spp. and Hydrozoa.