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The Oosterschelde estuary: an evaluation of changes at the ecosystem level induced by civil-engineering works
Nienhuis, P.H.; Smaal, A.C.; Knoester, M. (1994). The Oosterschelde estuary: an evaluation of changes at the ecosystem level induced by civil-engineering works, in: Nienhuis, P.H. et al. (Ed.) The Oosterschelde Estuary (The Netherlands): a case-study of a changing ecosystem. Hydrobiologia, 97: pp. 575-592
In: Nienhuis, P.H.; Smaal, A.C. (Ed.) (1994). The Oosterschelde Estuary (The Netherlands): a case-study of a changing ecosystem. Reprinted from Hydrobiologia, vols 282/283. Hydrobiologia, 97. Kluwer Academic: Dordrecht. 597 pp., more
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Nienhuis, P.H.; Smaal, A.C.; Knoester, M. (1994). The Oosterschelde estuary: an evaluation of changes at the ecosystem level induced by civil-engineering works. Hydrobiologia 282-283: 575-592, more

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Keywords
    Carrying capacity; Productivity; Productivity; Productivity; ANE, Netherlands, Oosterschelde [Marine Regions]; Netherlands [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Nienhuis, P.H., more
  • Smaal, A.C., more
  • Knoester, M.

Abstract
    The interest in storm-flood protection has recently gained momentum, owing to the wide international discussion on the impact of sea-level rise on society. The Oosterschelde project is technically and scientifically unique. The storm-surge barrier represents an important breakthrough in marine civil engineering. The project also offered ample opportunities to perform integrated physical, chemical, geological and biological research. Integration of the knowledge gained, raised the entire project to the level of a case study of a changing estuarine ecosystem, and demonstrated the effects of human interference in a non-polluted estuary. Notwithstanding considerable changes in the environment, the Oosterschelde has retained most of its favourable abiotic factors, labeling the estuary as a high quality marine system. The water quality in the post-barrier period more closely resembles that of the North Sea than in the period before. Significant changes in erosion and sedimentation and the consequent redistribution of fine sediments, are continuing. The ecosystem has shown responses to various factors. Effects of severe winters and impact of mussel- and cockle fisheries could be distinguished from other factors. The physical response of the ecosystem to the civil-engineering project could be quantified in terms of changes in habitat availability, maintenance of biological productivity, and restricted maintenance of the carrying capacity as an internationally recognized wetland and fisheries area.

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