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Repeatable sediment associations of burrowing bivalves across six European tidal flat systems
Compton, T.J.; Troost, T.; Drent, J.; Kraan, C.; Bocher, P.; Leyrer, J.; Dekinga, A.; Piersma, T. (2009). Repeatable sediment associations of burrowing bivalves across six European tidal flat systems. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 382: 87-98.
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630; e-ISSN 1616-1599, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Habitat suitability model; Species distribution; Logistic regression; German Wadden Sea; The Wash

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • Compton, T.J.
  • Troost, T.
  • Drent, J.
  • Kraan, C.
  • Bocher, P.
  • Leyrer, J.
  • Dekinga, A.
  • Piersma, T.

    Burrowing bivalves are associated with particular sediment types within sedimentary systems. The degree to which bivalve sediment associations are repeatable across systems has seldom been investigated. To investigate whether such repeatability exists across tidal flats, we compared adult and juvenile distributions of 3 bivalve species (Cerastoderma edule, Scrobicularia plana, Macoma balthica) across 6 European tidal flats. Across systems, the adult bivalves showed fairly repeatable distributions, with C. edule occurring in sandy sediments and M. balthica and S. plana occurring in muddy sediments. Exceptions were observed in systems composed primarily of muddy sediments (Aiguillon Bay and Marennes-Oléron Bay) and the Dutch Wadden Sea. Interestingly, juveniles and adults of C. edule and S. plana showed similar distributions across systems. M. balthica juveniles and adults showed habitat separation in 3 of the 6 studied systems; in 2 of these, it has been shown previously that juvenile M. balthic settle in mud at high tidal levels and migrate to lower sandier flats later in life. The high occurrence of juvenile M. balthic towards high sandy flats in Mont Saint-Michel Bay suggests that juveniles might choose high tidal flats rather than muddy sediments per se. A repeatable association in adults and juveniles with respect to sediment could suggest that juveniles actively settle in the proximity of the adults and/or that juveniles settling away from the adults incur a higher mortality due to either predation, physiological stress, or other factors.

  • Benthos monitoring in the intertidal mudflats of Pertuis-Charentais (Bay of Biscay) from 2004 on, more

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