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|Artificial hard substrata from the Belgian part of the North Sea and their influence on the distributional range of species|
Zintzen, V.; Massin, C. (2010). Artificial hard substrata from the Belgian part of the North Sea and their influence on the distributional range of species. Belg. J. Zool. 140(1): 20-29
In: Belgian Journal of Zoology. Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Dierkunde = Société royale zoologique de Belgique: Gent. ISSN 0777-6276, more
Epifauna; shipwreck; North Sea; distribution of species
A comprehensive list of the macrospecies recorded on ten shipwrecks from the Belgian Part of the North Sea is presented. The historical records of these species in the area are also reviewed to address the potential role of shipwrecks in providing habitats for species typically associated with hard substrata. The current pooled species richness for Belgian shipwrecks consists of 224 spp., including 12 fish species. Among these species, 46 are new records to the Belgian fauna. Species on shipwrecks fulfil a gap in the regional distribution of sessile and mobile epibenthos. The records of several species are interrupted in the Southern Bight of the North Sea, simply because their habitats, natural hard substrata, are rare in this area and poorly studied. Another consequenceof the presence of hard substrata offered by artificial sources is the increase in the distributional range of several species. Due to the presence of artificial substrata, a total of 12 southern species presented an extension of their known geographical range to the North.