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Structural and functional biodiversity of North Sea ecosystems: species and their habitats as indicators for a sustainable development of the Belgian Continental Shelf
Vincx, M.; Bonne, W.; Cattrijsse, A.; Degraer, S.; Dewicke, A.; Steyaert, M.; Vanaverbeke, J.; Van Hoey, G.; Stienen, E.; Van Waeyenberge, J.; Kuijken, E.; Meire, P.; Offringa, H.; Seys, J.; Volckaert, F.A.M.J.; Gysels, E.S.; Hellemans, B.; Huyse, T.; Pampoulie, C. (2004). Structural and functional biodiversity of North Sea ecosystems: species and their habitats as indicators for a sustainable development of the Belgian Continental Shelf. Belgian Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs (OSTC): Brussel. 94 pp.

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Document type: Project report

Keyword
    Marine

Project Top | Authors 
  • Structural and functional biodiversity of North Sea ecosystems: species and their habitats as indicator for the sustainable management of the BCS, more

Authors  Top 
  • Kuijken, E., more
  • Meire, P., more
  • Offringa, H., more
  • Seys, J., more
  • Volckaert, F.A.M.J., more
  • Gysels, E.S., more
  • Hellemans, B., more
  • Huyse, T., more
  • Pampoulie, C.

Abstract
    The Belgian Continental Shelf (BCS) is characterized by numerous subtidal sandbanks. Their close position to the coastline and the shallowness of the area make them unique, both from an ecological and geological point of view. It has recently been shown that the sandbank system in the Belgian coastal area acts as an intemationally important resting and foraging area for various seabird species. The project 'Structural and functional biodiversity of North Sea ecosystems: species and their habitats as indicators for a sustainable development of the Belgian continental shelf aims to assess the factors that determine and influence the marine biodiversity of the Belgian Continental Shelf. Within this project, an emphasis is made to incorporate all existing and new biodiversity information (community, population and genetic level) on all benthic compartments, including demersal fish, their parasites and birds. Most emphasis is given on the description of the structural aspects of benthic biodiversity in order to find a pattern within the relationship between the biological and the geochemical characteristics of the sediment. The question whether the structuring of ecosystem and species diversity and its functioning is reflected in the genetic structuring of marine taxa on the Belgian Continental Shelf is addressed for the first time.

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