Advertisement

Hydrobiologia

, Volume 540, Issue 1–3, pp 29–45 | Cite as

Spatial and temporal patterns of water quality along the estuarine salinity gradient of the Scheldt estuary (Belgium and The Netherlands): results of an integrated monitoring approach

  • Stefan Van Damme
  • Eric Struyf
  • Tom Maris
  • Tom Ysebaert
  • Frank Dehairs
  • Micky Tackx
  • Carlo Heip
  • Patrick Meire
Article

Abstract

This paper presents the results of 7 years of integrated monitoring along the Scheldt estuary. The combination of two datasets resulted in a full description of the estuaries water quality parameters from the mouth to the upper boundary, including an extended fresh water tidal part. A synthesis of the monitoring results and all relevant ecological knowledge on the Scheldt allowed to identify opportunities to optimize its management. The results show that the effect of discharge on salinity has a distinct maximum in the polyhaline to mesohaline transition area. Oxygen conditions, nitrogen removal and phytoplankton regulation can be enhanced and improved through management measures within the estuary. To lower carbon and phosphorous loads however measures should be taken within the catchment. To restore most of its ecological functions the estuary needs more space. Optimal locations to address specific functions can be derived from the monitoring results.

Keywords

ecosystem management estuary nutrients water quality phytoplankton 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Billen, G. 1975Nitrification in the Scheldt estuary (Belgium and The Netherlands)Estuar. Coastal and Marine Science37989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Billen G. (1993). Coastal eutrophication in a global perspective. In Symoens, J.-J., Devos P., J. Rammeloo, Ch. Verstraeten (eds.), Biological Indicators of Global Change. Symposium proceedings, Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences, Brussels: 17–34Google Scholar
  3. Billen, G., Garnier, J. 1997The Phison River plume: coastal eutrophication in response to changes in land use and water management in the watershedAquatic Microbial Ecology13317Google Scholar
  4. Billen, G., Lancelot, C., Meybeck, M. 1991N, P and Si retention along the aquatic continuum from land to ocean.Mantoura, R. F. C.Martin, J. M.Wollast, R. eds. Ocean Margin Processes in Global Change.John Wiley, SonsChichester1944Google Scholar
  5. Billen, G., Somville, M. 1982An ecophysiological model of nitrification in the Scheldt estuaryMathematical Modelling3523533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Billen, G., Somville, M., De Becker, E., Servais, P. 1985A nitrogen budget of the Scheldt hydrographical basinNetherlands Journal of Sea Research19223230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boderie, P.M.A., Zwolsman, J.J.G., Van Eck, G.T.M., VanDer Weijden, C.H. 1993Nutrient biogeochemistry in the water column (N, P, Si) and pore-water (N) of sandy sediment of the Scheldt estuary (SW-Netherlands)Netherlands Journal of Aquatic Ecology27309318Google Scholar
  8. Chatarpaul, L., Robinson, J.B., Kaushik, NK. 1980Effects of tubificid worms on denitrification and nitrification in stream sedimentCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science37656663Google Scholar
  9. Cloern, J.E. 1999The relative importance of light and nutrient limitation of phytoplankton growth: a simple index of coastal ecosystem sensitivity to nutrient enrichmentAquatic Ecology33316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Corell, D.L. 1998The role of phosforous in the eutrofication in receiving waters: a reviewJournal of Environmental Quality27261266Google Scholar
  11. Correll, D.L., Jordan, T.E., Weller, D.E. 2000Dissolved silicate dynamics of the Rhode river watershed and estuaryEstuaries23188198Google Scholar
  12. Costanza, R., Kemp, W.M., Boynton, WR. 1993Predictability, scale, and biodiversity in coastal and estuarine ecosystems: implications for managementAmbio228896Google Scholar
  13. Costanza, R., d’Arge, R.R., de, Groot, Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Limburg, K., Naeem, S., O’Neill, R.V., Paruelo, J., Raskin, RG., Sutton, P., Belt, M. 1997The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capitalNature387253260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Bie, M.J.M., Starink, M., Boschker, H.T.S., Peene, J.J., Laanbroek, HJ. 2002Nitrification in the Schelde estuary: methodological aspects and factors influencing its activityFEMS Microbial Ecology4299107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jonge, V.N., Jong, D.J. 2002Ecological restoration in coastal areas in the Netherlands: concepts, dilemmas and some examplesHydrobiologia478728CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. De Pauw, C. (1975. Contribution to the knowledge of environment and plankton in the Westerschelde estuary. Ph.D. Thesis, Ghent University, Faculty of Sciences, Ghent, Belgium (in Dutch)Google Scholar
  17. Dettmann, E.H. 2001Effect of water residence time on annual export and denitrification of nitrogen in estuaries: a model analysisEstuaries24481490Google Scholar
  18. Frankignoulle, M., Abril, G., Borges, A., Bourge, I., Canon, C., Delille, B., E., Libert, Theate, J.–M. 1998Carbon dioxide emission from European estuariesScience282434436CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Frankignoulle, M., Bourge, I., Wollast, R. 1996Atmospheric CO2 fluxes in a highly polluted estuary (the Scheldt)Limnology and Oceanography41365369Google Scholar
  20. Froelich, P.N. 1988Kinetic control of dissolved phosphate in natural rivers and estuaries: a primer on the phosphate buffer mechanismLimnology and Oceanography33649668Google Scholar
  21. Goosen, N.K., Van Rijswijk, P., Brockmann, U. 1995Comparison of heterotrophic bacterial production rates in early spring in the turbid estuaries of the Scheldt and the ElbeHydrobiologia3113142Google Scholar
  22. Gray J., S. 1997Marine biodiversity:patterns, threats and conservation needsBiodiversity and Conservation6153175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hamels, I., Sabbe, K., Muylaert, K., Barranguet, C., Lucas, C., P., Herman, Vyverman, W. 1998Organisation of microbenthic communities in intertidal estuarine flats, a case study from the Molenplaat (westerschelde estuary, The Netherlands)European Journal of Protistology34308320Google Scholar
  24. Heip, C., Goosen, NK., Herman, P.M.J., Kromkamp, J., Middelburg, J.J., Soetaert, K. 1995Production and consumption of biological particles in temperate tidal estuariesOceanography and Marine Biology331149Google Scholar
  25. Hellings, L., Dehairs, F., Tackx, M., Keppens, E., Baeyens, W. 1999Origin and fate of organic carbon in the freshwater part of the Scheldt estuary as traced by stable carbon isotope compositionBiogeochemistry47167186Google Scholar
  26. Hellings, L., Dehairs, F., Van Damme, S., Baeyens, W. 2001Dissolved inorganic carbon in a highly polluted estuary (the Scheldt)Limnology and Oceanography4614061414Google Scholar
  27. Herman, P.M.J., Middelburg, J.J., VanDe Koppel, J., Heip, C.H.R. 1999Ecology of estuarine macrobenthosAdvanced Ecological Research29195240Google Scholar
  28. Herman, P.J.M., Middelburg, JJ., Widows, J., Lucas C., H., Heip, C.H.R. 2000Stable isotopes as trophic tracers: combining field sampling and manipulative labelling of food resources for macrobenthosMarine Ecology Progress Series2047992Google Scholar
  29. Hummel, H., Moerland, G., Bakker, C. 1988The concomitant existence of a typical coastal and a detritus food chain in the Westerschelde estuaryHydrobiological Bulletin223541Google Scholar
  30. Kromkamp, J., Peene, J., Rijswijk, P., Sandee, A., Goosen, N. 1995Nutrients, light and primary production by phytoplankton and microphytobenthos in the eutrophic, turbid Westerschelde estuary (The Netherlands)Hydrobiologia311919Google Scholar
  31. Meire, P, Ysebaert, T., Damme, S., Vanden Begh, E., Maris, T., Struyf, E. 2005The Scheldt estuary: a description of a changing ecosystemHydrobiologia540111Google Scholar
  32. Middelburg, J.J., Klaver, G., Nieuwenhuize, J., Vlug, T. 1995Carbon and nitrogen cycling in intertidal sediments near Doel, Scheldt estuaryHydrobiologia3115769Google Scholar
  33. Muylaert, K., Sabbe, K., Vyverman, W. 2000aSpatial and temporal dynamics of phytoplankton communities in a freshwater tidal estuary (Schelde, Belgium)Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science50673687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Muylaert, K., Van Mieghem, R., Sabbe, K., Tackx, M., Vyverman, W. 2000bDynamics and trophic roles of heterotrophic protists in the plankton of a freshwater tidal estuaryHydrobiologia4322536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Muylaert, K., Van Wichelen, J., Sabbe, K., Vyverman, W. 2001Effects of freshets on phytoplankton dynamics in a freshwater tidal estuary (Schelde, Belgium)Archiv fur Hydrobiologie150269288Google Scholar
  36. Ouboter, M.R.L., Van Eck, B.T.M., Van Gils, J.A.G., Sweerts, J.-P., Villars, MT. 1998Water quality modelling of the Western Scheldt estuaryHydrobiologia366129142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Peeters, J.C.H., Peperzak, L. 1990Nutrient limitation in the North Sea: a bioassay approachNetherlands Journal of Sea Research266173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pelegri, S.P., Blackburn, TH. 1995Effects of Tubifex tubifex (Oligochaeta: Tubificidae) on N-mineralisation in freshwater sediments, measured with 15N isotopesAquatic Microbial Ecology9289294Google Scholar
  39. Reddy, K.R., Patrick, W.H.,Jr., Lindau, CW. 1989Nitrification–denitrification at the plant root sediment interface in wetlandsLimnology and Oceanography3410041013Google Scholar
  40. Regnier, P., Wollast, R., Steefel, CI. 1997Long-term fluxes of reactive species in macrotidal estuaries: estimates from a fully transient, multicomponent reaction-transport modelMarine Chemistry58127145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rysgaard, S., Thastum, P., Dalsgaard, T., Christensen, P.B., Sloth, N.P. 1999Effects of salinity on NH 4 + adsorption capacity, nitrification, and denitrification in Danish estuarine sedimentsEstuaries222130Google Scholar
  42. Schelske, C.L., Stoermer, EF., Conley, DJ., Robbins, J.A., Glover, RM. 1983Early eutrophication in the lower Great Lakes: new evidence from biogenic silica in sedimentsScience222320322Google Scholar
  43. Seys, J., Vincx, M., Meire, P. 1999Spatial distribution of Oligochaeta (Clitellata) in the tidal freshwater and brackish parts of the Schelde estuary (Belgium)Hydrobiologia406119132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Smayda, T.J. 1990Novel and nuisance phytoplankton blooms in the sea: evidence for a global epidemic.Granéli, ESundström, B.Edler, L.Anderson, D. M. eds. Toxic Marine PhytoplanktonElsevier Science Publishing CoNew York2940Google Scholar
  45. Smayda, T.J. 1997Bloom dynamics: physiology, behavior, trophic effectsLimnology and Oceanography4211321136Google Scholar
  46. Soetaert, K., Herman, P. 1994One foot in the grave: zooplankton drift into the Westerschelde estuary (The Netherlands)Marine Ecology Progress Series1051929Google Scholar
  47. Soetaert, K., Herman, P. 1995aCarbon flows in the Westerschelde estuary (The Netherlands) evaluated by means of an ecosystem model (MOSES)Hydrobiologia311247266Google Scholar
  48. Soetaert, K., Herman, P. 1995bNitrogen dynamics in the Westerschelde estuary (SW–Netherlands) estimated by means of an ecosystem model (MOSES)Hydrobiologia311225246Google Scholar
  49. Soetaert, K., Herman, P. 1995cEstimating estuarine residence times in the Westerschelde (The Netherlands) using a box model with fixed dispersion coefficientsHydrobiologia311215224Google Scholar
  50. Soetaert, K., Herman, , Kromkamp, P.J. 1994Living in the twilight: estimating net phytoplankton growth in the Westerschelde estuary (The Netherlands) by means of an ecosystem model (MOSES)Journal of Plankton Research1612771301Google Scholar
  51. Soetaert, K., Van Rijswijk, P. 1993Spatial and temporal patterns of the zooplankton in the Westerschelde estuaryMarine Ecology Progress Series974759Google Scholar
  52. Struyf, E., Van Damme, S., Meire, P. 2004Possible effects of climate change on estuarine nutrient fluxes: a case study in the highly nutrified Schelde estuary (Belgium, The Netherlands)Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science60649661CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Suchaneck, T.H. 1994Temperate coastal marine communities: biodiversity and threatsAmerican Zoologist34100114Google Scholar
  54. Svobodova, Z., Lloyd R., J. Machova, Vykusova B. (1993. Water quality and fish health. EIFAC Technical Paper N° 54, FAO, Rome, 59 ppGoogle Scholar
  55. Tackx, M., Billiones, R., Hannouti, A., Yu, H., Van Mieghem, R., Daro, N. 1999Study of the interaction between water column and intertidal in the Zeeschelde: partim qualification and quantification of organic material and plankton (in Dutch)Report AMIS DS6.2, Free University of Brussels, Department of Ecology and SystematicsBrussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  56. Tackx, M.L.M., Herman, P.J.M., Gasparini, S., Irigoien, X., Billiones, R., Daro, MH. 2003Selective feeding of Eurytemora affinis (Copepoda, Calanoida) in temperate estuaries: model and field observationsEstuarine Coastal and Shelf Science56305311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Van Alsenoy, V., van Put, A., Bernard, P., van Grieken, R. 1989Chemical characterization of suspensions and sediments in the North Sea and Scheldt estuary.Pichot, G. eds. Progress in Belgian Oceanographic Research.Royal Academy of SciencesBrussels351368Google Scholar
  58. Beusekom, J.E.E., Brockmann, UH. 1998Transformation of phosphorous in the Elbe estuaryEstuaries21518526Google Scholar
  59. Van Damme, S., Meire, P., Maeckelberghe, H., Verdievel, M., Bourgoing, L., Taverniers, E., Ysebaert, T., Wattel, G. 1995The water quality of the Sea Scheldt: evolution over the past thirty yearsWater85244256(in Dutch)Google Scholar
  60. Van Eck, G.T.M., De Rooij, N.M. 1993Potential chemical time bombs in the Schelde estuaryLand Degradation and Rehabilitation4317332Google Scholar
  61. Van Spaendonk, J.C.M., Kromkamp, J.C., De Visscher, P.R.M. 1993Primary production of phytoplankton in a turbid coastal plain estuary, the Westerschelde (The Netherlands)Netherlands Journal of Sea Research31267279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Venice System, 1958. Symposium on the classification of brackish waters, Venice April 8–14, 1958. Archives. Oceanography Limnology 11 (Suppl).: 1–248Google Scholar
  63. Wollast, R. 1978Modelling of biological and chemical processes in the Scheldt estuary.Nihoul, J. C. D. eds. Hydrodynamics of estuaries and fjords.ElsevierAmsterdam6377.Google Scholar
  64. Wollast, R. 1982Behaviour of organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous in the Scheldt estuaryThalassia Yugoslavica181134Google Scholar
  65. Wollast, R. 1988The Scheldt EstuarySalomons, W.Bayne, W.L.Duursma, EK.Forstner, U. eds. Pollution of the North Sea: An assessmentSpringer–VerlagBerlin183193Google Scholar
  66. Zwolsman, J.J.G. 1994Seasonal variability and biogeochemistry of phosphorus in the Scheldt estuary, South–West NetherlandsEstuarine Coastal and Shelf Science39227248CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Van Damme
    • 1
  • Eric Struyf
    • 1
  • Tom Maris
    • 1
  • Tom Ysebaert
    • 2
  • Frank Dehairs
    • 3
  • Micky Tackx
    • 4
  • Carlo Heip
    • 2
  • Patrick Meire
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Ecosystem Management Research GroupUniversity of AntwerpWilrijkBelgium
  2. 2.Centre for Estuarine and Marine EcologyNetherlands Institute of Ecology(NIOO-KNAW)YersekeThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Analytical ChemistryVrije Universiteit BrusselBelgium
  4. 4.UPS – CNRS, Laboratoire d’Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes LEH - FRE 2630ToulouseFrance

Personalised recommendations