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Atlas of North Sea benthic infauna: based on the 1986 North Sea Benthos Survey
Craeymeersch, J.A.; Heip, C.H.R.; Buijs, J. (1997). Atlas of North Sea benthic infauna: based on the 1986 North Sea Benthos Survey. ICES Cooperative Research Report, 218. International Council for the Exploration of the Sea: Copenhagen. 86 pp.
Part of: ICES Cooperative Research Report. ICES: Copenhagen. ISSN 1017-6195
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee: Open Marine Archive 156890 [ download pdf ]
Document type: Project report

    Aquatic communities > Benthos
    ANE, North Sea [Marine Regions]

Authors  Top 
  • Craeymeersch, J.A.
  • Heip, C.H.R.
  • Buijs, J.

    In 1981, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea established a Working Group on North Sea Benthos (Council Resolution 1981/2:6). One of the aims of the Working Group was to provide synoptic maps of qualitative and quantitative aspects of the status of the benthic communities in the North Sea. After reviewing the state-of-the-art of benthos investigations, the Working Group concluded that the available data were not sufficient to produce such a complete review of the faunal assemblages. The Working Group therefore recommended that a large-scale benthos survey, covering the whole North Sea and using standard sampling and processing techniques, be initiated to solve this problem (ICES, 1982; ICES, 1983). The programme was planned in more detail at the Working Group meetings in 1984 and 1985 (ICES, 1984; 1985). The North Sea Benthos Survey (NSBS) was completed in early 1986 owing to the commitment of several marine institutes; it covered the area between 51°N and 58°N, and 3°W and 9°E. Samples were taken by grab and box-corer for macrobenthic infauna, with additional samples for epifauna and meiobenthic infauna. The complete list of replicates, dates, samples and stations has been reported to ICES (ICES, 1986) and is also contained in Annex 1 to this report. Data from the northern North Sea have been gathered during eight cruises from 1980 to 1985, always in spring and early summer (Eleftheriou and Basford, 1989). The northern area covered extends between 65°15'N and 60°45'N. Together these results provided a database for the description of the benthic fauna of the entire North Sea. Results have been reported in Heip et al. (1992a; 1992b), Huys et al. (1992), Kunitzer (1990), Kunitzer et al. (1992) and Duineveld et al. (1991). The main objective of the Atlas of North Sea Benthic Infauna is to make the data available to the scientific community. The diskettes enclosed contain an updated version of a program package developed to present the spatial distribution of both macro-and meiobenthic species and species groups (disk NSBS1), and the data as included in the North Sea Benthos Database BEDMAN (ICES, 1994) (disk NSBS2). Installation instructions and a user manual for the distribution program are given in Annex 3, and the database is described in Annex 4. A hardcopy of the distribution maps of 100 selected macrobenthic species (out of the almost 1000 species or taxa found) is presented in Annex 5; a brief general description of these maps is contained in Section 4 of this report. Distribution maps of the major meiobenthic taxa and copepod species have been reported previously by Huys (1991).

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