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Effects of physical disturbance, isolation and key macrozoobenthic species on community development, recolonisation and sedimentation

Author(s): Kristjan Herkül | Jonne Kotta | Ilmar Kotta | Helen Orav-Kotta

Journal: Oceanologia
ISSN 0078-3234

Volume: 48;
Issue: S;
Start page: 267;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Baltic Sea | Ecosystem functioning | Field experiment | Functional diversity | Physical disturbance

The relative effect of physical disturbance, isolation and keymacrozoobenthic species on community development and sedimentationprocesses were studied in an in situ factorial field mesocosmexperiment in the northern Baltic Sea. Differences in abundanceand biomass structure of recolonising invertebrates were dueto exposure and isolation. The initial invertebrate communitieshad a negligible effect on the final communities. However, theorganic matter content of the sediment in isolated cages increasedwith the initial number of invertebrate species. The main conclusionof the study: physically driven fluxes override the effects ofbiological interactions in shallow water systems of the northernBaltic Sea.