Welcome to the Beta site. Beta means that you’re looking at the first version of the new Marine Data Exchange.
We’ll be continually testing and improving the site, so please let us know how we’re doing by getting in touch here

2011 Marine Ecological Surveys (MES) Recovery os Seabed Resources Following Marine Aggregate Extraction

2011 Marine Ecological Surveys (MES) Recovery os Seabed Resources Following Marine Aggregate Extraction

Top Categories:

Benthic Ecology

Description

Dredging for marine sands and gravels makes a significant contribution to the raw
materials needed for construction work and beach replenishment in the UK. Whilst
the impact of dredging on physical and biological resources is well understood less
is known about how these resources recover after dredging stops. In high energy,
naturally disturbed environments, physical and biological recovery is rapid because
dredge tracks are quickly eroded and faunal communities are made up of many small
bodied, rapidly maturing opportunistic species that are already adapted to high levels
of disturbance and rapidly recolonise disturbed areas. Nevertheless, in many habitats
where aggregate dredging has occurred, a return to a pre-dredge physical or biological
conditions often takes years or decades if it occurs at all. In many cases a return to a
similar pre-dredge condition may never be possible. This may be because of the highly
variable distribution and settlement of marine organisms that occurs naturally or
because sediment composition has been altered and supports a different assemblage
of animals. What may be more important to recovery is the ability of a different suite
of species to perform a similar function within the wider marine ecosystem. Benthic
communities are often important in terms of cycling of organic particulate matter
and the provision of a food resource for food chains that eventually lead to fisheries
production for example. Some recent research indicates that functional recovery may
occur more rapidly than recovery of community composition. This work is however,
at an early stage and further studies are required to improve our understanding of
the impact of aggregate dredging on marine ecosystem functioning and its recovery.

Report

Download All

Report