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Biodiversity and ecosystem processes in shallow coastal waters: an experimental approach
Raffaelli, D.; Emmerson, M.; Solan, M.; Biles, C.; Paterson, D. (2003). Biodiversity and ecosystem processes in shallow coastal waters: an experimental approach. J. Sea Res. 49(2): 133-141
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Raffaelli, D.; Emmerson, M.; Solan, M.; Biles, C.; Paterson, D. (2003). Biodiversity and ecosystem processes in shallow coastal waters: an experimental approach, in: Philippart, C.J.M. et al. (Ed.) Structuring Factors of Shallow Marine Coastal Communities, part II. Journal of Sea Research, 49(2): pp. 133-141, more

Available in Authors 
Document type: Conference paper

Keywords
    Benthic environment; Coastal zone; Ecosystems; Experimental research; Intertidal environment; Microcosms; Nutrients (mineral); Shallow water; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Raffaelli, D., correspondent, more
  • Emmerson, M.
  • Solan, M., more
  • Biles, C.
  • Paterson, D., more

Abstract
    The relationship between biodiversity and ecological processes is currently the focus of considerable research effort, made all the more urgent by the rate of biodiversity loss world-wide. Rigorous experimental approaches to this question have been dominated by terrestrial ecologists, but shallow-water marine systems offer great opportunities by virtue of their relative ease of manipulation, fast response times and well-understood effects of macrofauna on sediment processes. In this paper, we describe a series of experiments whereby species richness has been manipulated in a controlled way and the concentrations of nutrients (ammonium, nitrate and phosphate) in the overlying water measured under these different treatments. The results indicate variable effects of species and location on ecosystem processes, and are discussed in the context of emerging mainstream ecological theory on biodiversity and ecosystem relations. Extensions of the application of the experimental approach to species-rich, large-scale benthic systems are discussed and the potential for novel analyses of existing data sets is highlighted.

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