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Sewage, green algal mats anchored by lugworms, and the effects on Turbellaria and small Polychaeta

On sandy tidal flats at the Island of Sylt (North Sea) ephemeral mats of green algae covered wide areas in the vicinity of sewage outflows. Algae became anchored in the feeding funnels of lugworms (Arenicola marina) and thus were able to resist displacement by tidal currents. Below the algal mats anoxic conditions extend to the sediment surface. After about one month a rough sea...

Microscopic species make the diversity: a checklist of marine flora and fauna around the Island of Sylt in the North Sea

Wadden Sea compiled by Christian Buschbaum and Karsten Reise in the year 2002, covering the published data as well as unpublished Ms. and Ph.D. theses until the year 2000. This list was expanded to include

Invasion trajectory of Pacific oysters in the northern Wadden Sea

, 25992 List, Bremerhaven , Germany 2 Reviewed by B. W. Hansen , J. Ruesink and undisclosed experts 3 Karsten Reise Invasion trajectories of introduced alien species usually begin with a long establishment

Transitions in sandflat biota since the 1930s: effects of sea-level rise, eutrophication and biological globalization in the tidal bay Königshafen, northern Wadden Sea

Conspicuous macrozoobenthos and vegetation of intertidal sandflats in Königshafen (Island of Sylt, SE North Sea) were mapped in 1932, 1988 and 2008. Higher water levels since the 1930s with a concomitant increase in tidal dynamics are assumed to have weakened sediment stability. This dissolved the distinctly banded macrobenthic zonation of the 1930s. Near high water level...

Alien parasitic copepods in mussels and oysters of the Wadden Sea

Molluscan intestinal parasites of the genus Mytilicola, specifically M. intestinalis, were initially introduced into bivalves in the North Sea in the 1930s. It was presumably introduced from the Mediterranean with ship-fouling mussels, then attained epidemic proportions in Mytilus edulis in the 1950s and is now widely established in the North Sea region. Mytilicola orientalis was...

Seagrass recovery in the Northern Wadden Sea?

Aerial surveys on seagrass (Zostera spp.) indicate a three to fourfold increase in bed area from 1994 to 2006 with up to 100 km2 or 11% of intertidal flats in the Northfrisian Wadden Sea (coastal eastern North Sea), observed at seasonal maximum in August when flying during low tide exposure 300 to 500 m above ground. When viewed from the air, difficulties in distinguishing...

Sediment destabilizing and stabilizing bio-engineers on tidal flats: cascading effects of experimental exclusion

Bioturbating lugworms (Arenicola marina) were excluded from 400 m² plots of intertidal sand which initiated sequences of direct and indirect changes in the structure of the benthic community. The sessile, tube-building species Polydora cornuta and Lanice conchilega took advantage of the absence of lugworms and settled preferentially on lugworm exclusion plots. The protruding...

Ecosystem engineering and biodiversity in coastal sediments: posing hypotheses

Coastal sediments in sheltered temperate locations are strongly modified by ecosystem engineering species such as marsh plants, seagrass, and algae as well as by epibenthic and endobenthic invertebrates. These ecosystem engineers are shaping the coastal sea and landscape, control particulate and dissolved material fluxes between the land and sea, and between the benthos and the...

Interactive effects of global and regional change on a coastal ecosystem

Shallow waters and lowland meet at the same level in the Wadden Sea, but are separated by walls of coastal defense. What are the prospects of this coastal ecosystem in a warmer world? We focus on tidal waters and inshore sedimentary bottoms, expect nutrient supply from land to decline and species introductions, temperature and sea level to rise. The effects are interrelated and...

Metapopulation structure in the lagoon cockle Cerastoderma lamarcki in the northern Wadden Sea

Abstract. Benthic invertebrates in discontinuous inshore habitats and with short or no pelagic larval dispersal are likely to exhibit regional metapopulation dynamics with partially isolated local populations. Near the island of Sylt, the bivalve Cerastoderma (Cardium) lamarcki (Reeve, 1844, syn. in part with C. glaucum Bruguiére, 1789) was widespread in intertidal seagrass beds...

Are aliens threatening European aquatic coastal ecosystems?

Inshore waters of European coasts have accumulated a high share of non-indigenous species, where a changeable palaeoenvironment has caused low diversity in indigenous biota. Also strongly transformed modern coastal ecosystems seem to assimilate whatever species have been introduced and tolerate the physical regime. Adding non-native species does not have any directional...

Empty habitat in coastal sediments for populations of macrozoobenthos

Species with wide dispersal are expected to have little empty habitat. This was tested by analysing habitat use in the Wadden Sea near the island of Sylt (North Sea). Sampling covered 222 intertidal sites spread across the Königshafen tidal flats (4.5 km2, mapping approach conducted once) and 270 subtidal sites along 12 km of a tidal channel system (stratified random sampling in...

Clonal architecture in an intertidal bed of the dwarf eelgrass Zostera noltii in the Northern Wadden Sea: persistence through extreme physical perturbation and the importance of a seed bank

Genotypic structure and temporal dynamics of the dwarf seagrass, Zostera noltii, were studied in an intertidal meadow that has persisted since prior to 1936 near the Wadden Sea island of Sylt. Samples were collected from two 10 × 10 m plots separated by 250 m from May 2002 to June 2005 and from four 1 × 1 m plots from June 2003 to September 2004. All the samples were genotyped...

Macroparasite community in molluscs of a tidal basin in the Wadden Sea

We provide a quantitative inventory of macroparasites in intertidal molluscs from a tidal basin in the Wadden Sea (eastern North Sea). Gastropods and bivalves contained a species rich macroparasite community consisting of trematodes (26 species), turbellarians (1), nematodes (1), copepods (2) and polychaetes (1) in 3,800 host individuals from 10 host species. Highest parasite...

Parasites Affect Food Web Structure Primarily through Increased Diversity and Complexity

Parasites primarily affect food web structure through changes to diversity and complexity. However, compared to free-living species, their life-history traits lead to more complex feeding niches and altered motifs.

Parasites in the northern Wadden Sea: a conservative ecosystem component over 4 decades

We investigated potential changes in the metazoan endoparasite fauna in the northern Wadden Sea during the past 4 decades by compiling published studies, reports and original data. During the time considered, the parasite fauna has remained basically the same. Only a few changes in parasite species presence occurred that resulted from changes in host distribution and abundance...