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Food web changes in the Dutch Wadden Sea

Woensel, M.P. van (2011) Food web changes in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Shallow estuarine areas like the Wadden Sea are currently changing. This shift is mainly caused by human activities. Here a literature study on the food web in the Wadden Sea has been executed to investigate whether this change really has occurred in the Wadden Sea. Several species were investigated and divided into compartments of a food web with nutrients and organic matter at the start. The focus laid on the Dutch part of the Wadden Sea and mainly on bird and fish species. The study resulted in two different food webs where the most striking change was the loss of sea grass-beds by habitat changing and associated fauna in the form of bird species. The loss of sea grass made phytoplankton more important and induced an increase of planktivore fish. The turnover from the system with high abundance of bivalves to at least a relative increase of polychaetes due to fisheries was also detected. This change led to an increasing population trend of worm eating birds and a decrease of bivalve eating birds. For fishes this trend was not observed. The silt content of the Wadden Sea seems to be area-depended, but the median grain-size had an overall increase and the bottom became coarser. The most important factors that caused these changes are overexploitation and habitat change or destruction.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:45
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:45

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