The interannual variability of the epibenthic fauna of the Dogger Bank is a long term project of the Senckenberg-Institute since 1991. This project aims at gathering basic data which may form the background information for understanding presumed environmental changes. Therefore the study refers to 37 stations (see map in Annex) that are, whenever possible, sampled on a yearly basis in the same season with the same gear. To gather information about the winter's influence on the bentic species communities, this is the last of three scheduled winter cruises to the Dogger Bank. This cruise was conducted by the Department for Marine Zoology at the Senckenberg Institute in Frankfurt am Main.
The fauna is recorded quantitatively from each sample in order to allow studies on relative abundance. Another important aspect is the recording of climate forced changes. This study therefore is also part of the scientific programme of the Research Centre 'Biodiversity and Climate (BIK-F)' funded by the state of Hessen since 2008. We thankfully acknowledge this support.
Michael Türkay (Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt, Germany)