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A comparative analysis of macrobenthic communities of sublittoral and littoral zones of the Belgian Continental Shelf and coast (Oostende and De Panne)
ECOMAMA students (2005). A comparative analysis of macrobenthic communities of sublittoral and littoral zones of the Belgian Continental Shelf and coast (Oostende and De Panne), in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) (2005). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 25 February 2005: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 20: pp. 34
In: Mees, J.; Seys, J. (Ed.) (2005). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 25 February 2005: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 20. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. X, 129 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

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Document types: Conference paper; Summary

Keywords
    Benthos; Community composition; Comparative studies; Littoral zone; Abra alba (W. Wood, 1802) [WoRMS]; Barnea candida (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; [WoRMS]; Mysella bidentata (Montagu, 1803) [WoRMS]; Ophelia limacina (Rathke, 1843) [WoRMS]; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Continental Shelf (BCS) [Marine Regions]; ANE, Belgium, De Panne [Marine Regions]; ANE, Belgium, Oostende [Marine Regions]; Marine

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  • ECOMAMA students, more

Abstract
    Macrobenthos is defined as all organisms living in the bottom of the sea retained on a sieve with a mesh size of 1mm. The Belgian continental shelf has four typical macrobenthic communities: the Abra alba - Mysella bidentata community, the Nephtys cirrosa community, the Ophelia limacina - Glycera lapidum community and the Barnea candida community (Degraer et al., 1999). In the littoral zone the communities are mainly determined by morphodynamic differences attributed to waves and tides, while in the sublittoral mainly to sediment characteristics. The aim of this study was to compare littoral macrobenthic communities of De Panne (sampled in spring 2003) and Oostende (sampled in spring 2004), and to compare these communities with sublittoral communities (sampled in the same period in 2003 and 2004). A Van Veen grab was used to take sublittoral bottom samples and cores were used to take samples in the littoral zone. Both devices had the same surface area (0.1m2). The relative abundances at the genus and higher taxonomic levels, the Shannon-Wiener index, and the evenness of distribution were calculated per community and compared. We observed an increase in number of taxa from the high waterline towards the low waterline. The comparison of the sublittoral communities with the littoral communities of Oostende resulted in a higher diversity index for the sublittoral communities, while the same approach for De Panne resulted in a higher diversity index for the littoral communities.

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