Short-term impact of deep sand extraction and ecosystem-based landscaping on macrozoobenthos and sediment characteristics

M.F. de Jong*, Martin Baptist, H.J. Lindeboom, P. Hoekstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


We studied short-term changes in macrozoobenthos in a 20 m deep borrow pit. A boxcorer was used to sample macrobenthic infauna and a bottom sledge was used to sample macrobenthic epifauna. Sediment characteristics were determined from the boxcore samples, bed shear stress and near-bed salinity were estimated with a hydrodynamic model. Two years after the cessation of sand extraction, macrozoobenthic biomass increased fivefold in the deepest areas. Species composition changed significantly and white furrow shell (Abra alba) became abundant. Several sediment characteristics also changed significantly in the deepest parts. Macrozoobenthic species composition and biomass significantly correlated with time after cessation of sand extraction, sediment and hydrographical characteristics. Ecosystem-based landscaped sand bars were found to be effective in influencing sediment characteristics and macrozoobenthic assemblage. Significant changes in epifauna occurred in deepest parts in 2012 which coincided with the highest sedimentation rate. We recommend continuing monitoring to investigate medium and long-term impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-308
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • potential environmental-impact
  • marine aggregate extraction
  • eastern english-channel
  • north-sea
  • belgian part
  • large-scale
  • community structure
  • gravel extraction
  • coastal waters
  • united-kingdom


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