Changes in North Sea macrofauna communities and species distribution between 1986 and 2000

Kröncke, Ingrid, Reiss, Henning, Eggleton, Jacqueline D., Aldridge, John, Bergman, Magda J.N., Cochrane, Sabine, Craeymeersch, Johan A., Degraer, Steven, Desroy, Nicolas, Dewarumez, Jean-Marie, Duineveld, Gerard C.A., Essink, Karel, Hillewaert, Hans, Lavaleye, Marc S.S., Moll, Andreas, Nehring, Stefan, Newell, Richard, Oug, Eivind, Pohlmann, Thomas, Rachor, Eike, Robertson, Mike, Rumohr, Heye, Schratzberger, Michaela, Smith, Rebecca, Berghe, Edward Vanden, van Dalfsen, Jan, van Hoey, Gert, Vincx, Magda, Willems, Wouter and Rees, Hubert L. (2011) Changes in North Sea macrofauna communities and species distribution between 1986 and 2000 Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 94 (1). pp. 1-15. DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2011.04.008.

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The North Sea Benthos Project 2000 was initiated as a follow-up to the 1986 ICES North Sea Benthos Survey with the major aim to identify changes in the macrofauna species distribution and community structure in the North Sea and their likely causes. The results showed that the large-scale spatial distribution of macrofauna communities in the North Sea hardly changed between 1986 and 2000, with the main divisions at the 50 m and 100 m depth contours. Water temperature and salinity as well as wave exposure, tidal stress and primary production were influential environmental factors on a large (North Sea-wide) spatial scale. The increase in abundance and regional changes in distribution of various species with a southern distribution in the North Sea in 2000 were largely associated with an increase in sea surface temperature,
primary production and, thus, food supply. This can be most likely related to the North Sea hydro-climate change in the late 1980s influenced by the variability in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Only one cold-temperate species decreased in abundance in 2000 at most of the stations. Indications for newly established populations of offshore non-native species were not found.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Benthic Ecology; long-term variability; distribution shift; NAOI; regime shift; non-native species; benthic communities
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.ecss.2011.04.008
ISSN: 0272-7714
Projects: North Sea Benthos Project 2000
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2011 13:18
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2017 11:48

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