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Impact of an artificial structure on the benthic community composition in the southern North Sea: assessed by a morphological and molecular approach
Klunder, L.; Lavaleye, M.; Filippidi, A.; van Bleijswijk, J.; Reichart, G.-J.; van der Veer, H.W.; Duineveld, G.C.A.; Mienis, F. (2019). Impact of an artificial structure on the benthic community composition in the southern North Sea: assessed by a morphological and molecular approach. ICES J. Mar. Sci./J. Cons. int. Explor. Mer Online only. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/icesjms/fsy114
In: ICES Journal of Marine Science. Academic Press: London. ISSN 1054-3139; e-ISSN 1095-9289, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 
  • NIOZ: NIOZ files 319781
  • NIOZ: NIOZ Open Repository - postprints 319879 [ beschikbaar vanaf 10/06/2020 ]
  • VLIZ: Non-open access 319257 [ aanvragen ]

Author keywords
    artificial structures; benthic ecology; decommissioning; epifauna; metabarcoding; North Sea

Auteurs  Top 
  • Klunder, L., meer
  • Lavaleye, M., meer
  • Filippidi, A.
  • van Bleijswijk, J., meer
  • Reichart, G.-J., meer
  • van der Veer, H.W., meer
  • Duineveld, G.C.A., meer
  • Mienis, F., meer

Abstract
    Man-made structures in the North Sea are known to act as artificial reefs by providing a habitat for sessile epifauna in a predominantly soft sediment environment. This epifauna is hypothesized to cast a so-called “shadow” over the soft sediment ecosystem by altering the nutrient composition in the overlying water column. In addition, the structure itself could alter currents and thereby influence the deposition and erosion of the sediments in the wake of the platform. This study aims to assess the long-term effects of a gas platform in the southern North Sea on the surrounding benthic community by both morphological and molecular identification of benthic species. The species composition and a set of abiotic factors of the sediment around a gas platform were assessed along four transects. Differences for the abiotic factors were found in the closer vicinity of the platform in the direction corresponding to the predominant currents. The number of benthic fauna families found in the molecular approach were on average three times higher than for the morphological approach. Both approaches showed that small differences occurred primarily due to changes in sedimentary organic matter content. Differences in species composition were more pronounced between transects rather than between distances from the platform.

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