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Biogeomorphology in the field: bedforms and species, a mystic relationship
Van Lancker, V.; Houziaux, J.S.; Baeye, M.; Van den Eynde, D.; Rabaut, M.; Troost, K.; Vermaas, T.; van Dijk, T.A.G.P. (2013). Biogeomorphology in the field: bedforms and species, a mystic relationship, in: Van Lancker, V. et al. (Ed.) MARID 2013: Fourth International Conference on Marine and River Dune Dynamics. Bruges, Belgium, 15-17 April 2013. VLIZ Special Publication, 65: pp. 277-283
In: Van Lancker, V.; Garlan, T. (Ed.) (2013). MARID 2013: Fourth International Conference on Marine and River Dune Dynamics. Bruges, Belgium, 15-17 April 2013. VLIZ Special Publication, 65. Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences/SHOM/Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ): Oostende. ISBN 978-2-11-128352-7. 338 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

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Keywords
    Abundance; Bedload; Ecosystems; Engineering; Ensis directus (Conrad, 1844) sensu Abbott, 1954 [WoRMS]; Owenia fusiformis Delle Chiaje, 1844 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Van Lancker, V., more
  • Houziaux, J.S., more
  • Baeye, M., more
  • Van den Eynde, D., more
  • Rabaut, M., more
  • Troost, K., more
  • Vermaas, T.
  • van Dijk, T.A.G.P.

Abstract
    Fine-scale seabed mapping (<5 m resolution) (e.g. surficial sediments, morphology and benthos) was conducted along the ebb-tidal delta of the Westerschelde estuary, Belgian and Dutch part of the North Sea. To understand variations in habitat and species distributions, mapping was combined with measurements of currents and turbidity throughout 13-hrs cycles and with sediment transport modelling results.Results showed that highest abundances of some ecosystem engineering species (e.g. the tubeworm Owenia fusiformis, and the razor clam Ensis directus) occur near bedload convergence zones resulting from a mutually evasive flood- and ebb-dominant channel system. Such zones are at the end of the channels, hence also fine grained sediments, food and larvae are trapped. The combination of the coarser-grained bedload with thedeposition of fines is indeed the optimum for a lot of suspension and detritus feeders. Still, highest abundances occur at the fringes of such a system where stress levels are intermediate. Hypotheses were successfully tested along the Dutch coastal zone. Those insights are important to assess changes in seafloor integrity and hydrographic conditions,

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