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Impact of the Phaeocystis globosa spring bloom on the intertidal benthic compartment in the eastern English Channel: A synthesis
Spilmont, N.; Denis, L.; Artigas, L.F.; Caloin, F.; Courcot, L.; Créach, A.; Desroy, N.; Gevaert, F.; Hacquebart, P.; Hubas, C.; Janquin, M.-A.; Lemoine, Y.; Luczak, C.; Migné, A.; Rauch, M.; Davoult, D. (2009). Impact of the Phaeocystis globosa spring bloom on the intertidal benthic compartment in the eastern English Channel: A synthesis. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 58(1): 55-63.
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X; e-ISSN 1879-3363, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Aquatic communities > Benthos
    Environments > Aquatic environment > Marine environment > Intertidal environment
    Microorganisms > Bacteria
    Bacteria [WoRMS]; Laminaria saccharina (Linnaeus) J.V.Lamouroux, 1813 [WoRMS]; Phaeocystis globosa Scherffel, 1899 [WoRMS]; Saccharina latissima (Linnaeus) C.E.Lane, C.Mayes, Druehl & G.W.Saunders, 2006 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Intertidal; Phaeocystis globosa; Benthic fluxes; Saccharina latissima; Bacteria; Macrozoobenthos

Authors  Top 
  • Spilmont, N.
  • Denis, L.
  • Artigas, L.F.
  • Caloin, F.
  • Courcot, L., more
  • Créach, A.
  • Desroy, N.
  • Gevaert, F., more
  • Hacquebart, P.
  • Hubas, C., more
  • Janquin, M.-A.
  • Lemoine, Y.
  • Luczak, C., more
  • Migné, A., more
  • Rauch, M.
  • Davoult, D., more

    From 1999 to 2005, studies carried out in the frame of regional and national French programs aimed to determine whether the Phaeocystis globosa bloom affected the intertidal benthic communities of the French coast of the eastern English Channel in terms of composition and/or functioning. Study sites were chosen to cover most of the typical shore types encountered on this coast (a rocky shore, an exposed sandy beach and a small estuary). Both the presence of active Phaeocystis cells and their degradation product (foam) did have a significant impact on the studied shores. The primary production and growth rates of the kelp Saccharina latissima decreased during the bloom because of a shortage of light and nutrient for the macroalgae. On sandy sediments, the benthic metabolism (community respiration and community primary production), as well as the nitrification rate, were enhanced during foam deposits, in relation with the presence of bacteria and active pelagic cells within the decaying colonies. In estuarine sediments, the most impressive impact was the formation of a crust at the sediment surface due to drying foam. This led to anoxic conditions in the surface sediment and resulted in a high mortality among the benthic community. Some organisms also tended to migrate upward and were then directly accessible to the higher trophic level represented by birds. Phaeocystis then created a shortcut in the estuarine trophic network. Most of these modifications lasted shortly and all the systems considered came back to their regular properties and activities a few weeks after the end of the bloom, except for the most impacted estuarine area.

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