Development of benthos and birds in an intertidal area created for coastal defence (Scheldt estuary, the Netherlands)

Brenda Walles, Emiel Brummelhuis, Jesse van der Pool, Lauren Wiesebron, Tom Ysebaert

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Landward retreat of coastal defences (managed realignment) will result in the formation of newly flooded habitats exposed to tidal inundation. Creation of intertidal habitats for coastal defence is one of several ‘soft’ engineering options that could reduce maintenance costs of dikes and at the same time deliver environmental and societal benefits. For future coastal management it is important to understand how newly flooded coastal areas will develop. Will flooded areas develop into productive ecosystems with high ecological and recreational value or remain in an undesirable state for an extended time. Insight in the development of flooded areas may provide decision makers with sufficient knowledge for future implementation of these mitigation measures. The managed realignment Perkpolder is one of the first in the Dutch part of Scheldt estuary, undertaken as climate adaptation measure. The newly developing intertidal habitat acts as a safety buffer for the surrounding dikes and by means of sedimentation will rise with rising sea-levels. This study assessed initial colonization and development of the benthic macrofaunal community in this newly flooded managed realignment area and the usage of the area by birds.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYerseke
PublisherWageningen Marine Research
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameWageningen Marine Research report


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