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Environmental Sciences - Environmental Toxicology | The Wadden Sea Ecosystem - Stability Properties and Mechanisms

The Wadden Sea Ecosystem

Stability Properties and Mechanisms

Dittmann, Sabine (Ed.)

Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1999, XII, 307 pp. 68 figs., 23 tabs.

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  • About this book

  • Summary of an ecosystem analysis
  • Application of multivariate statistics and ecological modelling in marine ecology
This book covers the synthesis of the joint research project ELA W AT (Elastizitat des Okosystems Wattenmeer = Resilience of the Wadden Sea Ecosystem), which was part of the "Ecosystem Research Wadden Sea" in Germany. The major ob­ jective of ELA WAT was the analysis of potential stability properties and relevant processes for regeneration in this intertidal ecosystem. The synthesis of this pro­ ject summarizes the results of several years of field studies on spatial and temporal patterns of several abiotic and biotic parameters and on the effects of disturbances. Based on this analysis, stability properties and mechanisms were identified. The results contribute to the protection of processes in this coastal ecosystem (Chap. 12). This book on the interdisciplinary project ELA W AT also provides a detailed case study on the ecology of a backbarrier system. The "Ecosystem Research Wadden Sea" was part of the Ecosystem Research Program of the Federal Republic of Germany and a contribution to the MAB­ programme of the UNESCO (MAB-5). Results of this interdisciplinary research scheme were meant to form the scientific background of political decisions for the protection and sustainable use of this coastal ecosystem. Thus the "Ecosystem Research Wadden Sea" followed the guidelines of the precautionary principle and environmental research of the federal government. The research was carried out in association with the administrations of the Wadden Sea National Parks in the states of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Ecosystem Research - Environmental Sciences - Fauna - Marine Ecology - Marine Sciences - Oceanography - ecosystem - plankton

Related subjects » Ecology - Environmental Toxicology - Nature Conservation & Biodiversity - Oceanography - Paleoenvironmental Sciences

Table of contents 

1 Introduction.- 2 ELAWAT: Goals and Conceptual Framework.- 3 Study Area: The Backbarrier Tidal Flats of Spiekeroog.- 3.1 Description of the Spiekeroog Backbarrier System.- 3.2 Meteorological Conditions in the East Frisian Wadden Sea from 1994-1996.- 3.3 Hydrographic Conditions in the Spiekeroog Backbarrier System.- 3.4 Morphology and Sedimentology of the Spiekeroog Backbarrier System.- 3.4.1 Origin of the Wadden Sea.- 3.4.2 History of the Coastal Evolution.- 3.4.3 Morphology and Morphodynamics.- 3.4.4 Sedimentology.- 3.5 Biofacies in the Spiekeroog Backbarrier Tidal Flats.- 3.5.1 Introduction.- 3.5.2 Horizontal and Vertical Aspects of Biofacies.- 3.5.3 Case Study Mytilus Bed.- 3.5.4 Effects of Ice Winters.- 3.6 Ecosystem Engineers: Mytilus edulis and Lanice conchilega.- 3.6.1 Mytilus edulis.- 3.6.2 Lanice conchilega.- 4 Statistical Models and Techniques for the Analysis of Conditions of an Ecological System.- 4.1 Introduction.- 4.2 Terminology.- 4.3 Statistical Methods for the Description and Measurement of Stability Properties.- 4.3.1 Description of Patterns and Processes.- 4.3.2 Analysis of Relations.- 4.3.3 Tests for Statistical Distinction Between States of a System.- 4.4 Statistics in ELAWAT.- 5 Spatial and Temporal Distribution Patterns and Their Underlying Causes.- 5.1 Distribution of Nutrients, Algae and Zooplankton in the Spiekeroog Backbarrier System.- 5.1.1 Introduction.- 5.1.2 Material and Methods.- 5.1.3 Tidal Variations.- 5.1.4 Seasonal Variability.- 5.1.5 Interannual Variability.- 5.1.6 Relations Between Phytoplankton and Copepods.- 5.1.7 Relations Between Phytoplankton and Meroplanktonic Larvae.- 5.1.8 Resuspension of Benthic Algae.- 5.2 Biogeochemical Processes in Tidal Flat Sediments and Mutual Interactions with Macrobenthos.- 5.2.1 Microbial and Geochemical Processes.- 5.2.2 Distribution of Macrofauna Along the Transect.- 5.2.3 Discussion.- 5.2.4 Conclusions.- 5.3 Settlement, Secondary Dispersal and Turnover Rate of Benthic Macrofauna.- 5.3.1 Introduction.- 5.3.2 What Determines Year-Class Strength in Intertidal Soft Bottom Benthic Macrofauna?.- 5.3.3 Development of Spatial And Temporal Patterns by Initial Settlement and Secondary Dispersal.- 5.3.4 In situ Turnover Rates of Juvenile Macrofauna in Soft Sediments.- 5.3.5 Small-Scale Temporal Variability in Benthos Distribution Patterns: Patchiness vs. Mobility.- 5.3.6 Lanice conchilega.- 5.4 Modelling the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Lanice conchilega.- 5.5 Biotic Interactions in a Lanice conchilega-Dominated Tidal Flat.- 5.5.1 Introduction.- 5.5.2 Methods.- 5.5.3 Species Composition and Macrobenthos Abundances.- 5.5.4 Lanice conchilega: Density and Distribution.- 5.5.5 Benthos Associated with Lanice conchilega.- 5.5.6 Discussion.- 5.6 Size Frequency, Distribution and Colour Variation of Carcinus maenas in the Spiekeroog Backbarrier System.- 5.6.1 Introduction.- 5.6.2 Material and Methods.- 5.6.3 Results.- 5.6.4 Discussion.- 6 Recolonization of Tidal Flats After Disturbance.- 6.1 Introduction.- 6.2 Material and Methods.- 6.3 Recolonization After Experimental Disturbances.- 6.3.1 The Course of Recolonization.- 6.3.2 Mode of Recolonization.- 6.4 Recolonization Following the Ice Winter 1995/96.- 6.5 Discussion.- 6.5.1 Recolonization in Dependence of the Sediment Chemistry.- 6.5.2 Temporal Development of Recolonization.- 6.5.3 Comparison of Recolonization After the Ice Winter and After Experimental Disturbances.- 7 Effects of the Ice Winter 1995/96.- 7.1 Introduction.- 7.2 The “Disturbing” Effects of the Ice Winter 1995/96.- 7.2.1 Mechanical Effects.- 7.2.2 Direct Effects of Low Temperatures.- 7.3 The Seasonal Development 1996 (Regeneration).- 7.3.1 The Pelagic System.- 7.3.2 The Benthic System.- 7.4 The “Black Area Event” 1996.- 7.5 Comparison of Ice Winter Effects in Different Parts of the Wadden Sea.- 8 Grid-Based Modelling of Macrozoobenthos in the Intertidal of the Wadden Sea: Potentials and Limitations.- 8.1 Introduction.- 8.1.1 Theoretical Background.- 8.1.2 Empirical Background.- 8.2 The First Model: A Demonstration.- 8.2.1 Results of the First Model.- 8.3 Problems When Applying the Grid-Based Approach in the Wadden Sea.- 8.4 A Grid-Based Approach Tailored to the Wadden Sea: TOPOGRID.- 8.4.1 Typical Results of TOPOGRID.- 8.5 Methodological Conclusions.- 8.6 Ecological Conclusions.- 9 Stability Properties in the Wadden Sea.- 9.1 Introduction.- 9.2 The Conceptual Framework: A Glossary.- 9.3 A Canon of Questions.- 9.4 The Abiotic Ingredients of the Wadden Sea.- 9.4.1 Meteorological Boundary Conditions and Disturbance Regime.- 9.4.2 Hydrography, Morphology and Sediments.- 9.4.3 Chemistry of the Sediments.- 9.4.4 Summary: Abiotic Ingredients of the Wadden Sea.- 9.5 The Biotic Ingredients of the Wadden Sea.- 9.5.1 Bacteria.- 9.5.2 Microphytobenthos and Phytoplankton.- 9.5.3 Macrozoobenthos.- 9.5.4 Migratory Birds.- 9.5.5 Summary: Biotic Ingredients of the Wadden Sea.- 9.6 Conclusions.- 10 Assessing Stability Properties: How Suitable is this Approach for Ecosystem Research in the Wadden Sea?.- 11 Joint Research Projects: Experiences and Recommendations.- 11.1 Realization of ELAWAT.- 11.2 Problems and Potentials of Joint Projects.- 11.3 Gaps of Knowledge and Research Recommendations.- 11.4 Recommendations for the Realization of Joint Projects.- 12 Protection of Processes in the Wadden Sea.- 12.1 What is Protection of Processes?.- 12.2 Protection of Processes in the Wadden Sea.- 12.3 Arguments from ELAWAT for the Protection of Processes.- 12.4. Outlook.- 13 Summary.

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