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Zoobenthos of the outer archipelago waters (N. Baltic Sea): the importance of local conditions for spatial distribution patterns
Bonsdorff, E.; Laine, A.O.; Hänninen, J.; Vuorinena, I.; Norkko, A. (2003). Zoobenthos of the outer archipelago waters (N. Baltic Sea): the importance of local conditions for spatial distribution patterns. Boreal Env. Res. 8(2): 135-145
In: Boreal Environment Research. Finnish Environment Institute: Helsinki. ISSN 1239-6095; e-ISSN 1797-2469, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Aquatic communities > Benthos
    Aquatic communities > Benthos > Zoobenthos
    Distribution > Geographical distribution
    Environmental factors
    Macoma balthica (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Monoporeia affinis (Lindström, 1855) [WoRMS]
    ANE, Baltic, Archipelago Sea [Marine Regions]

Authors  Top 
  • Bonsdorff, E., more
  • Laine, A.O.
  • Hänninen, J.
  • Vuorinena, I.
  • Norkko, A., more

    The variability in species number and abundance of the soft-sediment benthic animal communities of the Archipelago Sea and western Gulf of Finland (SW Finland) is described in relation to environmental variables using multivariate analysis. The results show assemblages along the outer archipelago zone, facing the open sea, illustrating the importance of local conditions for the functioning of the zoobenthos. Based on clustering and multidimensional scaling of species abundance, the sampling sites formed distinct groups (benthic assemblages) linked to different geographical sub-areas. The main group, dominated by the amphipod Monoporeia affinis, was mainly found between the outer islands and skerries of the Archipelago Sea. Five additional groups were identified, which were geographically scattered and dominated either by the bivalve Macoma balthica, by M. affinis, or by oligochaetes. Based on rank correlation between the (dis)similarity matrices of species composition and environmental characteristics, the combination of dissolved oxygen saturation, temperature and sediment organic matter content best explained the species distribution and community structure of benthic fauna. The groups could also be positioned along an environmental gradient with increasing distance from the mainland, increasing depth and salinity, decreasing organic content (i.e. food availability), and declining temperature. The results are discussed in relation to environmental properties, highlighting the need for a baseline survey for future coastal monitoring, and in relation to the EC Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), stressing the relationship between environmental typology and biological (ecological) indicators of environmental health.

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