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The inner German Bight: an ecologically sensitive area as indicated by the bottom fauna
Rachor, E. (1980). The inner German Bight: an ecologically sensitive area as indicated by the bottom fauna, in: Kinne, O. et al. (Ed.) Protection of life in the sea: 14th European Marine Biology Symposium, 23-29 September 1979, Helgoland. Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen, 33(1-4): pp. 522-530
In: Kinne, O.; Bulnheim, H.-P. (Ed.) (1980). Protection of life in the sea: 14th European Marine Biology Symposium, 23-29 September 1979, Helgoland. Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen, 33(1-4). Biologische Anstalt Helgoland: Hamburg. 772 pp., more
In: Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen. Biologische Anstalt Helgoland: Hamburg. ISSN 0174-3597, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine

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Abstract
    The muddy sediments of the sublittoral area of the inner German Bight are inhabited by a specialized macrofauna with few species. Long-term investigations on community and population dynamics have shown that the majority of this fauna are very susceptible to environmental stress (e. g. oxygen deficiency), and that the impoverishment trend recorded in 1977 has continued. The special hydrographic conditions of the inner German Bight, especially a long flushing time and the possibility of thermohaline stratifications, together with its function as a sediment trap are discussed. It is proposed that such areas should be considered as sensitive, and hence be protected from avoidable additional stress, e. g. introduction of wastes. This proposal is discussed with regard to the dangers arising from the view that muddy areas enriched with organic matter are inhabited by organisms preadapted to the decomposition of additional waste matter.

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