Discovery of Sabellaria spinulosa reefs in an intensively fished area of the Dutch Continental Shelf, North Sea

Karin J. Van Der Reijden*, Leo Koop, Sarah O'flynn, Silvia Garcia, Oscar Bos, Christiaan Van Sluis, David J. Maaholm, Peter M.J. Herman, Dick G. Simons, Han Olff, Tom Ysebaert, Mirjam Snellen, Laura L. Govers, Adriaan D. Rijnsdorp, Ricardo Aguilar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The tube-building polychaete Sabellaria spinulosa (Ross worm) can form conspicuous biogenic reefs that stabilize the seabed and increase biodiversity by providing a habitat for a multitude of other species. These reefs, however, are assumed to be vulnerable to human-induced physical disturbances of the seabed. In the Greater North Sea, S. spinulosa reefs are recognized to be under threat and worthy of protection. In August 2017, three S. spinulosa reefs with a minimum extent of 1016m2 were discovered in the Dutch Brown Bank area. This area comprises a large-scale sandbank and adjacent troughs. The reefs were found within the sandbank troughs, which have proven to be subject to high demersal fishing intensities (fished>5 times a year). Detailed bathymetry measurements showed that S. spinulosa reefs were mainly located within valleys of smaller-scaled sand waves, which have a perpendicular orientation compared to the large-scale sandbank structure of the Brown Bank. We hypothesize that the valleys in between sand waves offer suitable substrate for settlement and refuge from abrasion by fishing activities, enabling the S. spinulosa reefs to persist despite high fishing intensities. ROV footage of the reefs showed higher estimates of species abundances on the reefs compared with adjacent habitats, with some species present that are typical for hard substrate (rock gunnel, Pholis gunnellus; edible crab, Cancer pagurus; and velvet swimming crab, Necora puber). The information presented could be used for drafting management policies to protect these reefs, as Contracting Parties of the OSPAR Convention are committed to take measures and protect biodiversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
JournalJournal of Sea Research
Volume144
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

North Sea
continental shelf
reefs
reef
sandbank
sand wave
fishing
crab
trough
valleys
sea
Cancer pagurus
sand
biodiversity
Portunidae
valley
substrate
physical disturbance
remotely operated vehicle
polychaete

Keywords

  • Biogenic Reef
  • Brown Bank
  • Ecosystem Engineer
  • Sabellaria spinulosa
  • North Sea

Cite this

Van Der Reijden, Karin J. ; Koop, Leo ; O'flynn, Sarah ; Garcia, Silvia ; Bos, Oscar ; Van Sluis, Christiaan ; Maaholm, David J. ; Herman, Peter M.J. ; Simons, Dick G. ; Olff, Han ; Ysebaert, Tom ; Snellen, Mirjam ; Govers, Laura L. ; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D. ; Aguilar, Ricardo. / Discovery of Sabellaria spinulosa reefs in an intensively fished area of the Dutch Continental Shelf, North Sea. In: Journal of Sea Research. 2019 ; Vol. 144. pp. 85-94.
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title = "Discovery of Sabellaria spinulosa reefs in an intensively fished area of the Dutch Continental Shelf, North Sea",
abstract = "The tube-building polychaete Sabellaria spinulosa (Ross worm) can form conspicuous biogenic reefs that stabilize the seabed and increase biodiversity by providing a habitat for a multitude of other species. These reefs, however, are assumed to be vulnerable to human-induced physical disturbances of the seabed. In the Greater North Sea, S. spinulosa reefs are recognized to be under threat and worthy of protection. In August 2017, three S. spinulosa reefs with a minimum extent of 1016m2 were discovered in the Dutch Brown Bank area. This area comprises a large-scale sandbank and adjacent troughs. The reefs were found within the sandbank troughs, which have proven to be subject to high demersal fishing intensities (fished>5 times a year). Detailed bathymetry measurements showed that S. spinulosa reefs were mainly located within valleys of smaller-scaled sand waves, which have a perpendicular orientation compared to the large-scale sandbank structure of the Brown Bank. We hypothesize that the valleys in between sand waves offer suitable substrate for settlement and refuge from abrasion by fishing activities, enabling the S. spinulosa reefs to persist despite high fishing intensities. ROV footage of the reefs showed higher estimates of species abundances on the reefs compared with adjacent habitats, with some species present that are typical for hard substrate (rock gunnel, Pholis gunnellus; edible crab, Cancer pagurus; and velvet swimming crab, Necora puber). The information presented could be used for drafting management policies to protect these reefs, as Contracting Parties of the OSPAR Convention are committed to take measures and protect biodiversity.",
keywords = "Biogenic Reef, Brown Bank, Ecosystem Engineer, Sabellaria spinulosa, North Sea",
author = "{Van Der Reijden}, {Karin J.} and Leo Koop and Sarah O'flynn and Silvia Garcia and Oscar Bos and {Van Sluis}, Christiaan and Maaholm, {David J.} and Herman, {Peter M.J.} and Simons, {Dick G.} and Han Olff and Tom Ysebaert and Mirjam Snellen and Govers, {Laura L.} and Rijnsdorp, {Adriaan D.} and Ricardo Aguilar",
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Van Der Reijden, KJ, Koop, L, O'flynn, S, Garcia, S, Bos, O, Van Sluis, C, Maaholm, DJ, Herman, PMJ, Simons, DG, Olff, H, Ysebaert, T, Snellen, M, Govers, LL, Rijnsdorp, AD & Aguilar, R 2019, 'Discovery of Sabellaria spinulosa reefs in an intensively fished area of the Dutch Continental Shelf, North Sea', Journal of Sea Research, vol. 144, pp. 85-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2018.11.008

Discovery of Sabellaria spinulosa reefs in an intensively fished area of the Dutch Continental Shelf, North Sea. / Van Der Reijden, Karin J.; Koop, Leo; O'flynn, Sarah; Garcia, Silvia; Bos, Oscar; Van Sluis, Christiaan; Maaholm, David J.; Herman, Peter M.J.; Simons, Dick G.; Olff, Han; Ysebaert, Tom; Snellen, Mirjam; Govers, Laura L.; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D.; Aguilar, Ricardo.

In: Journal of Sea Research, Vol. 144, 01.02.2019, p. 85-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Discovery of Sabellaria spinulosa reefs in an intensively fished area of the Dutch Continental Shelf, North Sea

AU - Van Der Reijden, Karin J.

AU - Koop, Leo

AU - O'flynn, Sarah

AU - Garcia, Silvia

AU - Bos, Oscar

AU - Van Sluis, Christiaan

AU - Maaholm, David J.

AU - Herman, Peter M.J.

AU - Simons, Dick G.

AU - Olff, Han

AU - Ysebaert, Tom

AU - Snellen, Mirjam

AU - Govers, Laura L.

AU - Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D.

AU - Aguilar, Ricardo

PY - 2019/2/1

Y1 - 2019/2/1

N2 - The tube-building polychaete Sabellaria spinulosa (Ross worm) can form conspicuous biogenic reefs that stabilize the seabed and increase biodiversity by providing a habitat for a multitude of other species. These reefs, however, are assumed to be vulnerable to human-induced physical disturbances of the seabed. In the Greater North Sea, S. spinulosa reefs are recognized to be under threat and worthy of protection. In August 2017, three S. spinulosa reefs with a minimum extent of 1016m2 were discovered in the Dutch Brown Bank area. This area comprises a large-scale sandbank and adjacent troughs. The reefs were found within the sandbank troughs, which have proven to be subject to high demersal fishing intensities (fished>5 times a year). Detailed bathymetry measurements showed that S. spinulosa reefs were mainly located within valleys of smaller-scaled sand waves, which have a perpendicular orientation compared to the large-scale sandbank structure of the Brown Bank. We hypothesize that the valleys in between sand waves offer suitable substrate for settlement and refuge from abrasion by fishing activities, enabling the S. spinulosa reefs to persist despite high fishing intensities. ROV footage of the reefs showed higher estimates of species abundances on the reefs compared with adjacent habitats, with some species present that are typical for hard substrate (rock gunnel, Pholis gunnellus; edible crab, Cancer pagurus; and velvet swimming crab, Necora puber). The information presented could be used for drafting management policies to protect these reefs, as Contracting Parties of the OSPAR Convention are committed to take measures and protect biodiversity.

AB - The tube-building polychaete Sabellaria spinulosa (Ross worm) can form conspicuous biogenic reefs that stabilize the seabed and increase biodiversity by providing a habitat for a multitude of other species. These reefs, however, are assumed to be vulnerable to human-induced physical disturbances of the seabed. In the Greater North Sea, S. spinulosa reefs are recognized to be under threat and worthy of protection. In August 2017, three S. spinulosa reefs with a minimum extent of 1016m2 were discovered in the Dutch Brown Bank area. This area comprises a large-scale sandbank and adjacent troughs. The reefs were found within the sandbank troughs, which have proven to be subject to high demersal fishing intensities (fished>5 times a year). Detailed bathymetry measurements showed that S. spinulosa reefs were mainly located within valleys of smaller-scaled sand waves, which have a perpendicular orientation compared to the large-scale sandbank structure of the Brown Bank. We hypothesize that the valleys in between sand waves offer suitable substrate for settlement and refuge from abrasion by fishing activities, enabling the S. spinulosa reefs to persist despite high fishing intensities. ROV footage of the reefs showed higher estimates of species abundances on the reefs compared with adjacent habitats, with some species present that are typical for hard substrate (rock gunnel, Pholis gunnellus; edible crab, Cancer pagurus; and velvet swimming crab, Necora puber). The information presented could be used for drafting management policies to protect these reefs, as Contracting Parties of the OSPAR Convention are committed to take measures and protect biodiversity.

KW - Biogenic Reef

KW - Brown Bank

KW - Ecosystem Engineer

KW - Sabellaria spinulosa

KW - North Sea

U2 - 10.1016/j.seares.2018.11.008

DO - 10.1016/j.seares.2018.11.008

M3 - Article

VL - 144

SP - 85

EP - 94

JO - Journal of Sea Research

JF - Journal of Sea Research

SN - 1385-1101

ER -