|Harpacticoid copepod community structure in two North Sea estuaries in relation to pollution|
Van Damme, D.; Heip, C.H.R.; Herman, R.; Vaeremans, M. (1981). Harpacticoid copepod community structure in two North Sea estuaries in relation to pollution. Benthos 81/06. Rijksuniversiteit Gent, Laboratorium voor Morfologie en Systematiek der Dieren, Sectie Mariene Biologie: Gent. 58 pp.
Copepoda; meiobenthos; community structure; estuaries; intertidal; pollution; heavy metals, North Sea
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- ARC - Belgian 'Concerted action research project' - a further multidisciplinary study of Southern Bight of North Sea (1977-81), more
The harpacticoid copepod assemblages of two estuaries in the Netherlands, the Westerschelde and the Eems-Dollard, are compared. Both estuaries have similar physical characteristics but the Westerschelde is much more polluted than the Eems-Dollard. Harpacticoid copepod assemblages in both estuaries are similar in terms of species composition. However, there is a striking difference in quantitative characteristics : the highest annual averages of density, biomass and diversity in the Westerschelde are below the lowest annual averages in the Eems-Dollard estuary. Because both estuaries are extensively monitored, data concerning many possible causes of this difference could be compared. It is argued that it is the high load of heavy metals in the Westerschelde which is responsible for the observed decline. Harpacticoid copepods seem to be a very suitable tool in ecological monitoring of estuarine systems and can provide a good indication of general ‘health’ of rivers and coastal zones.
- Harpacticoid copepod community structure in the Western Scheldt and Ems-Dollard estuary in relation to pollution between 1976 and 1980, more