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Synoptic techniques for monitoring the response of intertidal benthic biota to an alternative dredging strategy
van der Wal, D.; Ysebaert, T.; Forster, R.M.; Rossi, F.; Bouma, T.J.; Herman, P.M.J.; Plancke, Y.M.G. (2008). Synoptic techniques for monitoring the response of intertidal benthic biota to an alternative dredging strategy, in: Dohmen-Janssen, C.M. et al. River, coastal and estuarine morphodynamics: RCEM 2007. Proceedings of the 5th IAHR symposium on river, coastal and estuarine morphodynamics, Enschede, The Netherlands, 17-21 september 2007. pp. 307-311

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Documenttype: Congresbijdrage

Author keywords
    Benthic biota; Benthic macrofauna; Benthic microalgae; Dredge disposal; Dredged sediments; Ecological monitoring; Environmental change; Estuarine ecosystems; Field sampling; HyperSpectral; Intertidal flat; Macro benthos; Micro-algae; Morphological changes; Multichannel system; Netherlands; Westerschelde

Auteurs  Top 
  • Bouma, T.J., meer
  • Herman, P.M.J., meer
  • Plancke, Y.M.G., meer

    The Westerschelde (southwest Netherlands) is characterized by a complex system of channels and intertidal flats, which have particular significance for the estuarine ecosystem. The estuary is also important for navigation, and dredging is carried out to maintain and deepen the main channels. Such measures may have negative impact on the (intertidal) ecosystem. A new strategy was implemented near one of the intertidal flats for disposing dredged sediment in a way that allows for morphological change that may be beneficial for preserving the multi-channel system of the estuary and for ecology. As part of a larger scheme, the impact on ecology has been monitored. This includes repeated field sampling and measurements of benthic macrofauna and microalgae, sediment grain-size and elevation, complemented by annual airborne (hyperspectral) surveys to detect changes in the entire intertidal area in detail. The techniques allow efficient, synoptic and accurate ecological monitoring. The results show the response of the macrobenthos community to benthic microalgae and to environmental changes. To date, no negative impacts of the dredge disposal have been detected.

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