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Origin and history of the brackish water fauna of N.W. Europe
Wolff, W.J. (1972). Origin and history of the brackish water fauna of N.W. Europe, in: Battaglia, B. (Ed.) Fifth European Marine Biology Symposium. pp. 11-18
In: Battaglia, B. (Ed.) (1972). Fifth European Marine Biology Symposium. Piccin Editore: Padova. 348 pp., more

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    VLIZ: Proceedings [212670]
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine

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Abstract
    The causes of the well-known poverty of species in brackish waters have been investigated. 3 aspects of this poverty are apparent, viz. The relatively low number of habitats, the low between-habitat diversity, and the low within-habitat diversity in brackish waters. The physiological instability of brackish waters as a cause of the poverty of species in rejected. Instead of it the geological history of brackish waters is supposed to be the major cause of this has been investigated in more detail for the brackish water fauna of NW Europe. It is shown that the brackish-water fauna of NW Europe is not derived from the Arctic cold brackish-water fauna or from the Ponto-Caspian fauna. Hence, the brackish-water fauna of NW Europe is an independent zoogeogrpahical unit. The history of this fauna has been traced back to the last glaciation. It is supposed that the geographical situation and the severe climate in that period only permitted the survival of a limited of brackish-water species. After this glaciation the introduction of other species was difficult because of the geographically discontinuous nature of estuaries.

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