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Biomass and activity of benthic fauna on the Fladen Ground (northern North Sea)
de Wilde, P.A.W.J.; Berghuis, E.M.; Kok, A. (1986). Biomass and activity of benthic fauna on the Fladen Ground (northern North Sea). Neth. J. Sea Res. 20(2-3): 313-323
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • de Wilde, P.A.W.J.
  • Berghuis, E.M.
  • Kok, A.

    During May 1983 the abundance and biomass of macrobenthos and meiobenthos populations, as well as the metabolic activity (shipboard incubated and in situ measured respiration, and potential respiration activity by ETS) were studied in the Fladen Ground area. Macrofauna showed an abundance of 4500 specimens per m²; the corresponding biomass was 10.7 g ash-free dry weight per m². The bivalve Arctica islandica, with 12 specimens per m² contributed 7.2 g to this biomass. Average meiofauna numbers, 0.9·106 per m² were low; a meiofaunal biomass of only 0.3 g was estimated. Depending on the method applied, large variations in metabolic activity were found. Results from shipboard incubation experiments probably present a large underestimate. The in situ bell-jar experiments showed an average oxygen uptake of 1010 µmol O2·m-2·h-1, equalling a carbon demand of 7.3 gC·m-2·month-1 in May. ETS measurements gave a 3 times higher estimate. Taking into account that macrofaunal and meiofaunal abundance and biomass, as well as bottom temperatures, show minimum values in spring, an annual carbon mineralization by the benthic system of 50 to 70 gC·m -2 is suggested. This would mean that about one third of the total primary produced organic matter is channelled into the benthic system.

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