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Expected changes in the benthic fauna of Wadden Sea tidal flats as a result of sea-level rise or bottom subsidence
Beukema, J.J. (2002). Expected changes in the benthic fauna of Wadden Sea tidal flats as a result of sea-level rise or bottom subsidence. J. Sea Res. 47(1): 25-39
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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Keywords
    Abundance; Biomass; Elevation; Elevation; Intertidal environment; Sea level changes; Species diversity; Subsidence; Zoobenthos; ANE, Netherlands [Marine Regions]; ANE, Wadden Sea [Marine Regions]; Marine

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  • Beukema, J.J., more

Abstract
    In different parts of the Dutch Wadden Sea, relationships between intertidal level and abundance of marine macrozoobenthos were similar. Numerical densities, biomass and species richness increased from values close to 0 at the high-water level to maximum values around mean-tide level (numbers) or halfway between this level and low-tide level (biomass). Species richness hardly declined below mean-tide level, whereas mean weight per individual continued to increase from high- to low-water level. Biomass was about 45 g ash-free dry weight per m² at its maximum and declined in an approximately linear way to values close to 0 at the high-water level and to about 7 g per m² at the low-water level. These two linear relationships were used to predict biomass changes on intertidal flats of the Wadden Sea at various scenarios of sea-level rise and bottom subsidence. Net sea-level rise is expected to result in increased amounts of intertidal zoobenthos in areas with predominantly high tidal flats, but in declines in lower areas. However, such changes will occur only if sea-level rise proceeds too fast to be compensated by extra sedimentation. Bottom subsidence as a consequence of gas extraction is expected to be too small to cause any measurable change in the benthic fauna.

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