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Small- to large-scale geographical patterns within the macrobenthic Abra alba community
Van Hoey, G.; Vincx, M.; Degraer, S. (2005). Small- to large-scale geographical patterns within the macrobenthic Abra alba community. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 64(4): 751-763.
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714; e-ISSN 1096-0015, more
Related to:
Van Hoey, G.; Vincx, M.; Degraer, S. (2006). Small- to large-scale geographical patterns within the macrobenthic Abra alba community, in: Van Hoey, G. Spatio-temporal variability within the macrobenthic Abra alba community, with emphasis on the structuring role of Lanice conchilega = Ruimtelijke en temporele variabiliteit binnen de macrobenthische Abra alba gemeenschap met nadruk op de structurerende rol van Lanice conchilega. pp. 57-74, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors | Dataset 

    Composition > Community composition
    Distribution > Geographical distribution
    Abra alba (W. Wood, 1802) [WoRMS]
    ANE, English Channel [Marine Regions]; ANE, North Sea, Southern Bight [Marine Regions]
Author keywords
    Abra alba community; large-scale; small-scale patterns; diversity; English channel; Southern Bight of the North Sea

Authors  Top | Dataset 

    The Abra alba community is widely spread in the coastal zone of the English Channel and the Southern Bight of the North Sea. The community is located on shallow, fine muddy sands. Its spatial distribution can be broken up into a number of isolated patches (Atlantic French, British and German coast) and one large continuous distribution area (northern France up to the Netherlands). The aim of this study is to investigate the geographical patterns within the macrobenthic A. alba community at different scales: the community's full distribution range (i.e. large scale) and a selected area with a continuous distribution of the A. alba community (i.e. small scale) in relation to structuring environmental variables. Therefore, an analysis of newly collected samples along the Belgian coastal zone was combined with available information on the A. alba community throughout its distribution range. Although the community structure shows a high similarity across the full distribution range of the A. alba community, large- as well as small-scale changes in community composition were observed: the Belgian Continental Shelf (BCS) should be considered as a major transition from the rich southern to the relatively poorer northern distribution area of the A. alba community. At a large scale (i.e. full distribution range), the differences in community structure are expected to result from (1) the specific hydrodynamic conditions in the English Channel (Atlantic ocean waters) and the Southern Bight of the North Sea, with a consequent differential connectivity between the different areas and (2) the climatological and related faunal shift from temperate (English Channel) to boreal conditions (German Bight). At a small scale (i.e. within the continuous distribution area), structural and functional community aspects may result from geographic differences in (1) detrital food availability, related to riverine input and pelagic productivity, along and across the coastline and (2) the amount of suspended matter, impoverishing the A. alba community when excessively available.

  • Degraer, S., G. Van Hoey, W. Willems, J. Speybroeck & M. Vincx, 2003: MacroDat Belgium. Macrobenthic data from the Belgian part of the North Sea from 1976 onwards. Ghent University, Biology Department, Marine Biology Section, Belgium, more

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