Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 544312
Title Discovery of Sabellaria spinulosa reefs in an intensively fished area of the Dutch Continental Shelf, North Sea
Author(s) Reijden, Karin J. Van Der; Koop, Leo; O'flynn, Sarah; Garcia, Silvia; Bos, Oscar; Sluis, Christiaan Van; Maaholm, David J.; Herman, Peter M.J.; Simons, Dick G.; Olff, Han; Ysebaert, Tom; Snellen, Mirjam; Govers, Laura L.; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D.; Aguilar, Ricardo
Source Journal of Sea Research 144 (2019). - ISSN 1385-1101 - p. 85 - 94.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2018.11.008
Department(s) IMARES Visserij
IMARES Onderzoeksformatie
IMARES Delta
IMARES Regiostation Yerseke
WIAS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Biogenic Reef - Brown Bank - Ecosystem Engineer - Sabellaria spinulosa - North Sea
Abstract The tube-building polychaete Sabellaria spinulosa (Ross worm) can form conspicuous biogenic reefs that stabilize the seabed and increase biodiversity by providing a habitat for a multitude of other species. These reefs, however, are assumed to be vulnerable to human-induced physical disturbances of the seabed. In the Greater North Sea, S. spinulosa reefs are recognized to be under threat and worthy of protection. In August 2017, three S. spinulosa reefs with a minimum extent of 1016m2 were discovered in the Dutch Brown Bank area. This area comprises a large-scale sandbank and adjacent troughs. The reefs were found within the sandbank troughs, which have proven to be subject to high demersal fishing intensities (fished>5 times a year). Detailed bathymetry measurements showed that S. spinulosa reefs were mainly located within valleys of smaller-scaled sand waves, which have a perpendicular orientation compared to the large-scale sandbank structure of the Brown Bank. We hypothesize that the valleys in between sand waves offer suitable substrate for settlement and refuge from abrasion by fishing activities, enabling the S. spinulosa reefs to persist despite high fishing intensities. ROV footage of the reefs showed higher estimates of species abundances on the reefs compared with adjacent habitats, with some species present that are typical for hard substrate (rock gunnel, Pholis gunnellus; edible crab, Cancer pagurus; and velvet swimming crab, Necora puber). The information presented could be used for drafting management policies to protect these reefs, as Contracting Parties of the OSPAR Convention are committed to take measures and protect biodiversity.
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