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Distribution and density of the benthic fauna in the southern North Sea in relation to bottom characteristics and hydrographic conditions
Creutzberg, F.; Wapenaar, P.; Duineveld, G.; Lopez Lopez, N. (1984). Distribution and density of the benthic fauna in the southern North Sea in relation to bottom characteristics and hydrographic conditions. Rapp. et Proc.-Verb. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer 183: 101-110
In: Rapports et Procès-Verbaux des Réunions du Conseil Permanent International pour l'Exploration de la Mer. Conseil Permanent International pour l'Exploration de la Mer: Copenhague. ISSN 0074-4336, more

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Creutzberg, F.
  • Wapenaar, P.
  • Duineveld, G., more
  • Lopez Lopez, N.

Abstract
    The eastern part of the southern North Sea, west and north of the Dutch coast, is characterized from south to north by a gradual increase in depth and a decrease in tidal-current velocity. This may have contributed to the gradual transition from coarse to fine sediment from south to north and to the occurrence of muddy areas in the north. At a certain latitude (ca. 53°30'N) the tidal-current velocity drops to a critical value at which deposition of silt can take place. North of this boundary there is a very rich mud fauna with a biomass comparable to that of the fauna of the tidal flats of the Wadden Sea. This enrichment may be attributed to the deposition of organic matter frorn primary production, not only from the overlying water masses, but also from adjacent sandy areas where water turbulence prevents deposition of detritus. Farther north the biomass of the benthic fauna seems to decrease. Alternatively, the enriched zone may be related to the presence of a tidally induced front between a well-mixed area in the south and a seasona1ly stratified area in the north in which primary production is enhanced. At the transition from sand to mud a succession of feeding types has been observed in the bottom fauna, the significance of which is discussed.

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