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Comparison of long-term trends in benthic and pelagic communities of the North-Sea
Austen, M.C.; Buchanan, J.B.; Hunt, H.G.; Josefson, A.B.; Kendall, M.A. (1991). Comparison of long-term trends in benthic and pelagic communities of the North-Sea. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 71(1): 179-190
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154; e-ISSN 1469-7769, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Fauna; Persistence; Sedimentation; Variability; Zooplankton; ANE, Norway, Oslofjord [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Macrobenthic communities; Macrofauna; Ecosystem; Coast

Authors  Top 
  • Austen, M.C., more
  • Buchanan, J.B.
  • Hunt, H.G.
  • Josefson, A.B., more
  • Kendall, M.A., more

Abstract
    Species abundance data for benthic communities, collected during 1971-1988 off Northumberland on the north-east coast of England (western North Sea) and the Skagerrak (eastern North Sea), and pelagic data collected in corresponding areas during 1958-1988 by the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey have been subjected to multi-dimensional scaling ordination. Changes in community structure at the two benthic stations show a high degree of similarity, characterised by a transition in the late 70s. Similarly, there is a less marked transition between the 70s and 80s in pelagic community structure from the eastern North Sea but pelagic data from the western North Sea shows no discernible patterns. Benthic community biomass data, available only for the Skagerrak station, enabled abundance/biomass comparison curves to be constructed which demonstrated a change from un-disturbed communities in the early and mid 70s to moderately disturbed communities in the late 70s and 80s. North Sea macrofaunal abundance, and, in the Skagerrak, macrofaunal biomass appear to co-vary with phytoplankton colour and total zooplankton abundance, although there are insufficient data for statistical testing. A number of factors including eutrophication and/or pollution may be responsible for these changes in community structure.

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