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Biology of Benthic Organisms. 11th European Symposium on by B. F. Keegan

By B. F. Keegan

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Game and Fish Comm. 663-674. RESULTS AND PROBLEMS OF AN "UNSUCCESSFUL" BENTHOS CAGE PREDATION EXPERIMENT (Western Baltic)+ WolfE. Arntz Institut für Meereskunde an der Universität Kiel, FRG ABSTRACT In the Protected Research Area of the Joint Research Programme "Interaction Sea - Sea Bottom" of Kiel University, at 20 m depth, a number of in situ macrobenthos experiments were carried out to follow up the establishment of a faunal community as well as specific community mechanisms like competition, displacement and predation.

Almost 90% of the fauna on soft bottoms consisted of Ροη£οροΊ&Ζα α££ΖηΐΛ. The most important accompan­ ying species were MzAidotza antomon, VontopoKdlci ^dmotiata. and Uacoma baltlca. In the Gulf of Bothnia, where the oxygen conditions are always good, the dominance of crustaceans was still more distinct. The community was almost entirely made up of one single species, P. αύβΙηΛ,Δ. In two exceptional cases M. baltlca was dominant in respect of both abundance and biomass. M. zntomon, which occurs frequently, especially in the Bothnian Sea, had very small numbers of individuals, but generally made a major contribution to the biomass.

In the Bornholm Basin, the Central Basin and the Gulf of Finland, the bottom layer is separated from the surface layer by a permanent halocline. During periods of stagnation this separation gives rise to an oxygen deficit and periodically to complete oxygen depletion and formation of hydrogen sulphide. The result is a total disappearance of macrofauna in the deepest parts of these basins. g. (Segersträle 1957),(Fonselius 1962, 1969, 1971),(Magaard and Rheinheimer 1974). In (1961) the Institute of Marine Research in Helsinki started a long-term study on the occurrence of benthic macrofauna in the seas around Finland.

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