Synoptic techniques for monitoring the response of intertidal benthic biota to an alternative dredging strategy

D. Van DerWal*, T. Ysebaert, R. M. Forster, F. Rossi, T. J. Bouma, P. M.J. Herman, Y. M.G. Plancke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRiver, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics
Subtitle of host publicationRCEM 2007 - Proceedings of the 5th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics
Pages307-311
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event5th IAHR-Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics, RCEM 2007 - Unitersity of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 17 Sep 200721 Sep 2007
Conference number: 5

Publication series

NameRiver, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics: RCEM 2007 - Proceedings of the 5th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics
Volume1

Conference

Conference5th IAHR-Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics, RCEM 2007
Abbreviated titleRCEM
CountryNetherlands
CityEnschede
Period17/09/0721/09/07

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