Biotic interactions in turbid estuarine systems


Study of the relative importance of primary production, bacterial production and detritus avection for the planktonic foodweb. Biotic interactions in the micro- and macrobenthic foodweb. Feeding behaviour of macrocrustacea, fish and birds.

This project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the structure and function of estuarine food webs by studying selected biotic interactions in the plankton and benthos of the Schelde estuary (The Netherlands, Belgium). The objectives are:
1) The study of the relative importance of primary production, bacterial production and detritus in the planktonic food wed.
2) The study of important biotic interactions in the micro- and meiobenthic food wed.
3) The study of the feeding ecology of higher tropic levels (fish, macrocrustacea and avifauna) and their impact on lower trophic levels.

The present object examines biotic interactions in both the plantonic and benthic food chain of the Zeeschelde, the Wester- schelde and the coastal area of the North Sea. The use of living and dead particular dissolved matter by plankton and benthos is the main interest of this study. The sampling sites are characterised by high turbitity and cover a salinity gradient. In particular, the use of organic matter by the present fish populations is analysed by the Laboratory of Ecology and Aquaculture. This study thus combines detailed data of the abundance, biomass and species composition of the fish assemblages with stomach contents analyses.


Algae, diatoms, Bacteria, brackish water, biotic interaction, community analyses, ecology, estuaries, estuaries, estuarine, feeding ecology, free-living nematods, fish communities, food webs, freshwater, genetics, hydrobiology, inventorying and classification, limnology, marine biodiversity, marine biology, coastal habitats, hyperbenthos, Invertebrata, marine ecology, microbenthos, meiobenthos, North Sea, North Sea Scheldt, oceanology, phycology, microbial loop, microbiology, Nematoda, phytoplankton, Protista, rivers, running waters, stomach contents, streams, systematics, taxonomy, the effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning, turbidity, W-Europe, zoology, zooplankton, turbid systems


Belgium {Geographical scope}
North Sea {Geographical scope}
Netherlands {Geographical scope}
Inland Waters {Habitat type}
Marine and Coastal {Habitat type}


Name Role Start End
Ollevier, Frans co-promotor
Vyverman, Wim co-promotor
Daro, Nanette co-promotor
Vincx, Magda promotor
Stevens, Maarten member 1999-01-01 2002-12-01


Name Role Start End
Marine Biology member
Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary Biology member
Ecology and Systematics member
Institute for Forestry and Game Management member

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:iweto

© 2012 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform