Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen

, Volume 48, Issue 2–3, pp 201–215 | Cite as

Biomass and abundance of macrofauna in intertidal sediments of Königshafen in the northern Wadden Sea

  • K. Reise
  • E. Herre
  • M. Sturm


Intertidal sediments of Königshafen (Island of Sylt, North Sea) were sieved for mesofauna (>0.25 mm) and macrofauna (>1 mm) in spring and autumn 1990. Although sediments are coarser than in other parts of the Wadden Sea, the macrobenthic fauna was very similar but with a tendency towards higher species density, abundance and biomass. Taking into account the areal size of sandy flats, seagrass beds, mud flats and mussel beds, the average biomass is calculated to be 65 g ash-free dry weight m−2 The lugwormArenicola marina dominates the biomass (28%), followed by the bivalvesMytilus edulis (21%),Mya areanaria (16%),Cerastoderma edule (10%) and the mudsnailHydrobia ulvae (9%). While spring and autumn biomass are almost alike, abundance is highly variable and entirely dominated byH. ulvae. Mesofauna is mainly composed of oligochaetes, small and juvenile polychaetes. Abundance is similar to that of macrofauna, while biomass is only about 1 g m−2. Macrophyte biomass amounted to 9% of that macrofauna. In the course of the centurym mussel beds expanded while muddy areas declined. The concomitant effects on biomass presumably compensated each other.


Biomass Macrophyte Polychaete Average Biomass Intertidal Sediment 

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Copyright information

© Biologische Anstalt Helgoland 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Reise
    • 1
  • E. Herre
    • 1
  • M. Sturm
    • 1
  1. 1.Biologische Anstalt HelgolandListFederal Republic of Germany

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