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The recovery of benthos following the impact of low oxygen content in the German Bight
Niermann, U.; Bauerfeind, E.; Hickel, W.; Westernhagen, H.V. (1990). The recovery of benthos following the impact of low oxygen content in the German Bight. Neth. J. Sea Res. 25(1-2): 215-226
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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  • Niermann, U.
  • Bauerfeind, E.
  • Hickel, W.
  • Westernhagen, H.V.

    The oxygen deficiency in the German Bight and in Danish waters 1981-1983 with ensuing benthos mortality was the reason for studying the development and re-establishment of the macrofauna in the following years. These years, from 1984-1987, exhibited more favourable oxygen conditions. The macrofauna of this region with its predominantly sandy substrate belongs to the Tellina fabula community. It is dominated by regular seasonal and ephemeral species such as Spio filicornis, Phoronis spec., Spiophanes bombyx and Lanice conchilega. In 1983, a year with exceptionally low oxygen content in bottom waters (< 1 mg O2 dm-3), the macrofauna showed, in some parts of the investigated area, a reduction of approx. 30-50% in species numbers. Concurrently, the individual numbers of the remaining species were reduced. Beginning in 1984, a rapid recovery of benthic communities was observed. By 1986, biomass as well as species- and individual numbers rose to values similar to those determined by other authors in earlier surveys of the German Bight. In particular, juvenile Echinocardium cordatum and crustaceans have been observed since 1984 in larger numbers.

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