European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

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Data set name

Northumberland Macro-benthic Time-series (1972-)

Data holding centreDove Marine Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom March 1972 onwards
Geographical area

Two stations (55m and 80m) off the Northumberland coast, north west North Sea


Zoobenthos generic abundance; Sediment grain size parameters; Concentration of organic matter in sediments; Zoobenthos taxonomic abundance; Zoobenthos taxonomy-related counts


Benthos samplers; sediment grabs


A time-series of macro-benthic samples from two stations off the Northumberland coast has continued from 1971, Station P (80m) and 1972, Station M1 (55m), to the present. The study was established to investigate the persistence and variability in benthic communities. During the initial phase of the study samples were taken monthly to describe the annual cycle at these sites. However, since 1974 sampling has generally been restricted to twice a year, March and September at M1 and January and September at P, this corresponds to the annual minima and maxima respectively in the number of individuals at each station. Ten 0.1 m**2 Van Veen grabs are taken at each sampling and their contents returned to the Laboratory for extraction of the macro-benthos (animals retained on the 0.5 mm sieve). The macro-fauna are identified by species as far as is practical and enumerated. This yields a time by species abundance matrix. Considerable attention has been paid to ensuring that the data are of consistent quality. However, changes in taxonomy of certain groups is a potential confounding problem. In addition sediment samples are taken regularly and used to determine sediment granulometry and organic matter content. The data are stored as analogue recording sheets and in a spreadsheet format in machine readable form. This work is ongoing and access to the data is by special arrangement only.

OriginatorsDove Marine Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Buchanan, J.B. (1993) Evidence of benthic pelagic coupling at a station off the Northumberland coast., Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecolology. 172:1-10.

OrganisationDove Marine Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
AvailabilityBy negotiation
ContactProf Grnat Burgess (Senior Lecturer)

Dove Marine Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
North Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE30 4PZ
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 191 252 4850
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1004001
Global identifier242
Last revised2009-12-01