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Diversity-productivity relationships in estuarine microphytobenthos
Vyverman, W.; Stal, L.J.; Muyzer, G.; Sabbe, K.; Vanelslander, B.; Créach, V.; Forster, R.M.; Kromkamp, J.C. (2011). Diversity-productivity relationships in estuarine microphytobenthos, in: Heip, C. et al. (Ed.) Aspects of coastal research in contribution to LOICZ in the Netherlands and Flanders (2002-2010). LOICZ Research & Studies, 38: pp. 162-170
In: Heip, C.; Laane, R. (Ed.) (2011). Aspects of coastal research in contribution to LOICZ in the Netherlands and Flanders (2002-2010). LOICZ Research & Studies, 38. Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht: Geesthacht. 184 pp., more
In: LOICZ Research & Studies. LOICZ International Project Office: Den Burg. ISSN 1383-4304, more

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Keywords
    Estuarine environment; Phytobenthos; Marine; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Vyverman, W., more
  • Stal, L.J., more
  • Muyzer, G.
  • Sabbe, K., more
  • Vanelslander, B., more
  • Créach, V., more
  • Forster, R.M.
  • Kromkamp, J.C., more

Abstract
    Field studies at three intertidal mudflat stations within the Scheldt Estuary indicated an inverse relationship between microphytobenthos biomass and species diversity, while the relationship between diversity measures and primary productivity appeared to be site specific, with either a significant positive or a unimodal relationship between both parameters. Species counts and molecular fingerprinting using DGGE were largely congruent and revealed that taxonomic turnover among eukaryotic microbenthos is largely determined by salinity, water content, temperature, irradiance, and tidal elevation. Experimental studies revealed significant cryptic diversity among diatoms and demonstrated that both facilitative and antagonistic interactions play an important role in structuring microphytobenthos communities. Species interactions need to be taken into account when studying critical ecosystem processes such as productivity, stability, sediment stabilization and nutrient cycling in marine and estuarine sediments.

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