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Macrobenthic zonation patterns along a morphodynamical continuum of macrotidal, low tide bar/rip and ultra-dissipative sandy beaches
Degraer, S.; Volckaert, A.M.; Vincx, M. (2005). Macrobenthic zonation patterns along a morphodynamical continuum of macrotidal, low tide bar/rip and ultra-dissipative sandy beaches, in: (2005). VLIZ Coll. Rep. 33-34(2003-2004). VLIZ Collected Reprints: Marine and Coastal Research in Flanders, 33-34: pp. chapter 18
In: (2005). VLIZ Coll. Rep. 33-34(2003-2004). VLIZ Collected Reprints: Marine and Coastal Research in Flanders, 33-34. Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ): Oostende, more
In: VLIZ Collected Reprints: Marine and Coastal Research in Flanders. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee: Oostende. ISSN 1376-3822, more

Also published as
  • Degraer, S.; Volckaert, A.M.; Vincx, M. (2003). Macrobenthic zonation patterns along a morphodynamical continuum of macrotidal, low tide bar/rip and ultra-dissipative sandy beaches. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 56(3-4): 459-468. dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0272-7714(02)00195-6, more

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 98796 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Beaches; Benthos; Coastal morphology; Tidal range; Belgium [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    sandy beach; macrobenthos; morphodynamical gradient; tidal range; Belgium

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Abstract
    The species composition, densities, biomass and zonation patterns of the macrobenthos of sandy beaches are greatly influenced by the morphodynamics and morphology of the beaches. Macrobenthic zonation patterns along a small-scale morphodynamic gradient, comprising eight Belgian beach sites, were investigated. By taking into account the dimensionless fall velocity (O) and the relative tidal range, the beach sites were ordered along the gradient from the ultra-dissipative beach type (UD) to the low tide bar/rip beach type (LTBR). The resulting beach state index varied between 1.8 and 4.2 and the beach profiles were related with the beaches' morphodynamic state.

    In total 35 macrobenthic species, mainly polychaetes and crustaceans, were encountered, varying between 19 and 23 species per beach site. The species composition was quite similar among beach sites, with Scolelepis squamata being abundant at all eight sites. Furthermore, the macrobenthic distribution patterns were mainly related to elevation at all beach sites. Some remarkable difference in metrics, largely related to the beach morphodynamics and the consequent hydrodynamics, were found. At the hydrodynamically benign and consequently macrobenthos-rich UD beaches, the highest macrobenthic densities and biomass occurred on the upper beach, while at the hydrodynamically harsh and thus macrobenthos-poor LTBR beaches, the maximum densities and biomass occurred lower on the beach. Species, typically occurring on the upper UD beaches, such as Eurydice pulchra, S. squamata, and Bathyporeia sarsi, were restricted to the sub-optimal middle and lower beach zone at LTBR beaches. Only Bathyporeia pilosa was found on the upper beach of both UD and LTBR beaches. The more robust polychaete Ophelia rathkei and the interstitial polychaete Hesionides arenaria were exclusively found in the hydrodynamically harsh conditions of the middle LTBR beach zone.


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