Invertebrates of the Wadden Sea. Report 4

Submitted by Steve Wilkinson on Mon, 10/05/2010 23:07

N. K. H. Dankers and W.J. Wolff, 1981. Published and distributed by A. A. Balkema, P.O. Box 1675, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Review source

Originally reviewed by Adrian Norris in 1983.

Published in Journal of Conchology (1983), Vol.31

This report is one of a series of eleven reports on the Wadden Sea covering Geomorphology; Hydrography; Flora and Vegetation; Invertebrates; Fishes and Fisheries; Birds; Mammals; Pollution; Flora and Vegetation of the Islands; Fauna of the islands; Physical planning and nature management in the area.

The Wadden Sea described as "Europe's largest marine wetland" is situated along the western and northern coasts of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Netherlands. It is a shallow coastal sea bounded on its outer edge by 17 large inhabited barrier islands as well as small uninhabited islands and sand-banks.

Report 4 covers the invertebrates, and is made up of a large number of individual scientific papers submitted to, and by, the "Marine Zoology" section of the Wadden Sea Working Group. For the purpose of the report the papers are divided into 10 main sections as follows:

  1. Conclusions and Recommendations;
  2. Invertebrates of the Wadden Sea; An Introduction;
  3. The species of invertebrates occurring in the Wadden Sea;
  4. Relationships between species and their environment;
  5. Life histories of some important Wadden Sea invertebrates;
  6. Quantitative data on the Plankton of the Wadden Sea proper;
  7. Quantitative data on the Benthos of the Wadden Sea proper;
  8. The Invertebrates of the estuaries of the rivers;
  9. Microfauna of the Wadden Sea;
  10. The role of the larger invertebrates in the Wadden Sea ecosystem.

The Molluscan fauna of the Wadden Sea is examined from several different aspects, and a full list of species is given under section 4, in which 89 species are mentioned: 2 Amphineura; 47 gastropoda, (including 29 sea-slugs), 35 lamellibranchia and 4 cephalopoda. Life histories, populations and annual yields are discussed in section 5 on the four most important marine bivalves; Mytilus edulis; Cerastodenna edule; Macoma balthica and Mya arenaria.

The most important contribution of this publication, however, is the detailed information about the inter- relationships of species within the environment as shown by completely independent and differing research techniques.

All eleven reports can be acquired from the publishers, bound in a set of three, entitled "Ecology of the Wadden Sea". Individual papers within the reports can be easily criticised, but together as a whole unit the report is well worth perusal, particularly because of the area's proximity to marine environments of the United Kingdom.