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Benthic studies of the Southern Bight of the North Sea and its adjacent continental estuaries: Progress Report 2. Fluctuation of the meiobenthic communities in the Westerschelde estuary
Van Damme, D.; Herman, R.; Sharma, Y.; Holvoet, M.; Martens, P. (1980). Benthic studies of the Southern Bight of the North Sea and its adjacent continental estuaries: Progress Report 2. Fluctuation of the meiobenthic communities in the Westerschelde estuary, in: Geconcerteerde Onderzoeksacties Interuniversitaire Actie Oceanologie: verslag van de studiedagen = Actions de Recherche Concertées Action Interuniversitaire Océanologie: rapports des journées d'études. pp. 131-170
In: (1980). Geconcerteerde Onderzoeksacties Interuniversitaire Actie Oceanologie: verslag van de studiedagen = Actions de Recherche Concertées Action Interuniversitaire Océanologie: rapports des journées d'études. Programmatie van het Wetenschapsbeleid: Brussel. 302 pp., more

Available in Authors | Dataset 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 140841 [ OMA ]
Document type: Project report

Keywords
    Community composition; Estuaries; Meiobenthos; Salt marshes; Spatial variations; ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water

Project Top | Authors | Dataset 
  • ARC - Belgian 'Concerted action research project' - a further multidisciplinary study of Southern Bight of North Sea (1977-81), more

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • Van Damme, D.
  • Herman, R., more
  • Sharma, Y., more
  • Holvoet, M.
  • Martens, P., more

Abstract
    The meiofauna community of the Westerschelde estuary was examined along five transects over an one year period. All meiofaunal groups, excluding nematodes, occurred in very low numbers along the estuary, except at the salt marsh Saaftinge, where they attain normal to high values. The average number of taxa decline from 4.3 at the mouth of the estuary at Vlissingen to 1.5 at Doel. Similar trends are observed for annual mean density: 2.2 106 ind./m² at Vlissingen and 0.16 106 ind./m² at Doel. This general trend of a decline in all qualitative and quantitative parameters from the eupolyhaline zone at the mouth towards the meso-oligohaline zone at the head of the estuary is examined in relation to the environmental parameters in particular, salinity gradients and sediment grain size composition. The low values of community parameters in the vicinity of Doel can only be attributed to chemical pollution. Fine sand with a medium grain size below 200 µm, an unstable relief and low amounts of organic matter result in a sparse interstitial fauna in the sandbanks. On the other hand, a high annual production at the salt marsh of Saaftinge is explained by the large amount of organic detritus present along with the protected position against extreme environmental conditions and direct pollution.

Dataset
  • Meiobenthic community in the Westerschelde estuary between 1977 and 1979, more

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