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Effects of mechanical and manual harvesting of lugworms arenicola marina l. on the benthic fauna of tidal flats in the dutch wadden sea



Effects of mechanical and manual harvesting of lugworms arenicola marina l. on the benthic fauna of tidal flats in the dutch wadden sea



Biological Conservation 39(3): 165-178



Effects of bait digging by hand and mechanical harvesting of Arenicola marina (L.) on the macrobenthic fauna of the Dutch Wadden Sea were investigated. Samples were taken on two tidal flat areas: the Balgzand and the Vlakte van Kerken, from March to October 1981. Most of the major species were severely reduced immediately after digging. Some species, e.g. Macroma baltica and Scoloplos armiger, showed a fast return into the depopulated area. Further recovery varied per species, with in general a larger recruitment of juveniles in the dug-over areas compared to the nondisturbed areas. Mechanical harvesting appeared to be more efficient catching more Arenicola per m2. Hand diggers caused less mortality of other benthic animals per gram Arenicola harvested. Disturbance of feeding birds is discussed. People walking and hand diggers caused a serious problem. The most frequently used tidal flats, within walking distance from the shore, can be more or less permanently unsuitable for feeding birds.

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Accession: 005313618

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DOI: 10.1016/0006-3207(87)90032-2


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