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 359536
Title Impacts of nutrient reduction on coastal communities
Author(s) Philippart, C.J.M.; Beukema, J.J.; Cad, G.C.; Dekker, R.; Goedhart, P.W.; Iperen, J.M. van; Leopold, M.F.; Herman, P.M.J.
Source Ecosystems 10 (2007)1. - ISSN 1432-9840 - p. 95 - 118.
Department(s) PRI Biometris
Wageningen Marine Research
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2007
Keyword(s) dutch wadden sea - suspension-feeding bivalves - macoma-balthica - north-sea - marine-phytoplankton - cerastoderma-edule - filtration-rate - burying depth - mya-arenaria - body-weight
Abstract Eutrophication due to high anthropogenic nutrient loading has greatly impacted ecological processes in marine coastal waters and, therefore, much effort has been put into reducing nitrogen and phosphorus discharges into European and North-American waters. Nutrient enrichment usually resulted in increase of biomass and production of phytoplankton and microphytobenthos, often coinciding with shifts in species composition within the primary producer community. Consequences of increasing eutrophication for higher trophic levels are still being disputed, and even less is known about the consequences of nutrient reduction on coastal food webs. Here, we present 30-year concurrent field observations on phytoplankton, macrozoobenthos and estuarine birds in the Dutch Wadden Sea, which has been subject to decades of nutrient enrichment and subsequent nutrient reduction. We demonstrate that long-term variations in limiting nutrients (phosphate and silicon) were weakly correlated with biomass and more strongly with community structures of phytoplankton, macrozoobenthos and estuarine birds. Although we cannot conclusively determine if, and if so to what extent, nutrient enrichment and subsequent nutrient reduction actually contributed to the concurrent trends in these communities, it appears likely that part of the variance in the studied coastal communities is related to changes in nutrient loads. Our results imply that nutrient reduction measures should not ignore the potential consequences for policies aimed at bird conservation and exploitation of marine living resources.
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