Biogenic reefs affect multiple components of intertidal soft-bottom benthic assemblages: The Lanice conchilega case study

Type Article
Date 2015-01
Language English
Author(s) de Smet Bart1, D'Hondt An-Sofie1, Verhelst Pieterjan1, Fournier Jerome2, 3, Godet Laurent4, Desroy NicolasORCID5, Rabaut Marijn1, Vincx Magda1, Vanaverbeke Jan1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Biology, Marine Biology Section, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281/S8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
2 : CNRS, UMR 7208 BOREA, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 7 Rue Cuvier, CP 32, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
3 : Station Marine de Dinard, USM 404 Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 38 Rue du Port Blanc, 35800 Dinard, France
4 : CNRS, UMR 6554 LETG-Nantes Géolittomer, Université de Nantes, B.P. 81227, 44312 Nantes Cedex 3, France
5 : IFREMER Laboratoire Environnement et Ressources BN, 38 Rue du Port Blanc, 35800 Dinard, France
Source Estuarine Coastal And Shelf Science (0272-7714) (Elsevier), 2015-01 , Vol. 152 , P. 44-55
DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.11.002
WOS© Times Cited 24
Abstract Biogenic reefs composed of the tube-building polychaete Lanice conchilega are important from a conservation point of view because they noticeably increase the biodiversity in otherwise species poor environments. However, up to now, little or no attention has been paid to the intertidal epi- and hyperbenthic communities associated with the reefs. Therefore, this is the first study which focuses on the effect of L. conchilega reefs on the entire bentho-pelagic community at two different locations. Environmental variables were measured and macro-, epi- and hyperbenthic communities were sampled within a L. conchilega reef and a control area at two locations in France: the bay of the Mont Saint-Michel (BMSM) and Boulogne-sur-Mer (Boulogne). The effect of the reef presence on the benthic community was studied with a 3-factor (Reef, Location and Period) Permanova. In addition, the relationship between the benthic community and the environmental variables were investigated using Distance-based linear models (DistLM). Most collected organisms were sampled in the reef area (macrobenthos: 91 %, epibenthos: 81 % and hyperbenthos: 78.5%) indicating that, independent of the location, the L. conchilega reefs positively affect all three associated benthic communities. However, the extent of the effect seems to be most pronounced for the macrobenthos and less distinct in case of the hyperbenthos. The macro-, and epibenthos are mainly structured by biotic variables (L. conchilega density and macrobenthic food availability respectively), while the hyperbenthos is rather structured by environmental variables. In general, L. conchilega reefs do not only affect abundances and diversity but they substantially steer the structure of the intertidal benthic sandy beach ecosystem.
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de Smet Bart, D'Hondt An-Sofie, Verhelst Pieterjan, Fournier Jerome, Godet Laurent, Desroy Nicolas, Rabaut Marijn, Vincx Magda, Vanaverbeke Jan (2015). Biogenic reefs affect multiple components of intertidal soft-bottom benthic assemblages: The Lanice conchilega case study. Estuarine Coastal And Shelf Science, 152, 44-55. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :