Similar diversity-disturbance responses to different physical impacts: Three cases of small-scale biodiversity increase in the Belgian part of the North Sea.

Annelies De Backer, Gert Van Hoey, Delphine Coates, Jan Vanaverbeke, Kristian Hostens

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review

    Uittreksel

    Human activities at sea are still increasing. As biodiversity is a central topic in the management of our seas, it is important to understand how diversity responds to different disturbances related with physical impacts. We investigated the effects of three impacts, i.e. sand extraction, dredge disposal and offshore wind energy exploitation, on the soft-bottom macrobenthic assemblages in the Belgian part of the North Sea. We found similar diversity-disturbance responses, mainly related to the fact that different impacts caused similar environmental changes. We observed a sediment refinement which triggered a shift towards a heterogenic, dynamic (transitional) soft-bottom macrobenthic assemblage, with several species
    typically associated with muddy sands. This led to a local unexpected biodiversity increase in the impacted area. On a wider regional scale, the ever increasing human impacts might lead to a homogenization of the sediment, resulting in a more uniform, yet less diverse benthic ecosystem.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftMarine Pollution Bulletin
    Volume84
    Pagina's (van-tot)251-262
    ISSN0025-326X
    DOI's
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - jun-2014

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