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Macrofaunal production along the UK continental shelf
Bolam, S.G.; Barrio Froján, C.R.S.; Eggleton, J.D. (2010). Macrofaunal production along the UK continental shelf. J. Sea Res. 64(3): 166–179.
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Environmental factors; Secondary production; Marine
Author keywords
    Macrofauna; UK Continental Shelf

Authors  Top 
  • Bolam, S.G.
  • Barrio Froján, C.R.S.
  • Eggleton, J.D.

    Estimates of secondary production (P/B ratio and total production) by macrobenthic communities across the UK continental shelf are presented. Values for individual sampling stations varied from 0.21 to 4.1 y-1 for community P/B and 3.1 to 897.2 kJ m-2 y-1 for total production. Such data fills an important gap pertaining to our understanding of the spatial variation in production estimates for this region. Benthic production estimates varied primarily at small (inter-station) scales (24 nm), although larger-scale differences were observed. In general, the highest production estimates were exhibited by benthic communities in Cardigan Bay (Irish Sea) and East English Channel, while the lowest estimates were observed for the mid- and northern North Sea areas. The former were typified by shallow, gravelly areas of seabed which exhibit high bed tidal stress and do not thermally stratify during the summer months. On average, annelids contribute an overwhelming majority of the total production with different regions varying in the relative contributions from other phyla such as molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms.Spatial heterogeneity of sediment granulometric variables occurred primarily between stations while those of other variables (e.g., depth, stratification, and tidal bed stress) were more regional. Although a large proportion of the spatial variation in secondary production estimates was not explained by environmental characteristics, the data indicate that such relationships are scale-dependent. Average bed temperature was a significant factor in creating some of the observed differences at large spatial scales. The possible reasons why a larger proportion of the variation in production estimates was not explained by the present study are presented.

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