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The possible effects of fishing disturbance in the northern North Sea: an analysis of spatial patterns in community structure around a wreck
Hall, S.J.; Robertson, M.R.; Basford, D.J.; Heaney, S.D. (1993). The possible effects of fishing disturbance in the northern North Sea: an analysis of spatial patterns in community structure around a wreck. Neth. J. Sea Res. 31(2): 201-208
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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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Hall, S.J.
  • Robertson, M.R.
  • Basford, D.J., more
  • Heaney, S.D.

Abstract
    The spatial patterns in benthic community structure have been examined around a wreck located in a heavily fished area of the northern North Sea. Marked spatial structures in both sediment characteristics and the infaunal community were detected. The pattern observed is consistent with the presence of either linear waves of coarse and fine sediment or with concentric bands with the wreck at the centre. Whichever of these alternatives apply, such results are unlikely to be the result of fishing disturbance. Infaunal community structure showed a close relationship with grain size and organic carbon content but, in contrast to most other studies, individuals and taxa were more abundant in coarser sediments. This reversal of the usual relationship with grain size and the consistency of the relationship with organic carbon content suggest that it is food availability, rather than particle size that is a primary determinant of community structure in this habitat. The utility of wreck studies for examining the effects of fishing on benthic communities is discussed in the light of our results.

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