European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

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Data set name

Shelf break sediment samples from the Gulf of Biscay and the English Channel (1988-90)

Data holding centreGhent University, Department of Biology, Marine Biology Section
CountryBelgium  Belgium
Time periodFrom 1988 to 1990
Geographical area

4 stations in the Gulf of Biscay (N.E. Atlantic); 3 stations in the English Channel


Variable fluorescence parameters; Chlorophyll pigment concentrations in sediment; Nutrient concentrations in sediment pore waters; Redox potential in sediment; Zoobenthos generic abundance


In a first attempt to obtain information in order to characterise the shelf break area and the factors structuring the meiobenthos standing stock, the meiobenthos communities of seven stations of 70 to 325m depth in the Gulf of Biscay are investigated in relation to several environmental factors, such as food supply, sediment composition and nutrient concentrations. The nematodes, which were the dominant taxon, were studied in detail. Two stations, situated along the Spanish coast near La Coruna, were sampled from the RVS Belgica in September of 1989. These sediment samples (cores of 10 square centimetres) were processed in order to extract the meiobenthic organisms. Nematodes were mounted on slides in order to determine their taxonomic position and their biomass. Chlorophyll-a was measured fluorimetrically. Also redox profiles, sediment composition and nutrient concentrations were determined. All these factors were analysed for each sediment slice of 1cm unto 10cm in the sediment. The five remaining stations were sampled in the summer of 1990. Three stations are located in the transition zone to the English Channel; the two remaining are situated near the Spanish coast. Nematodes were not classified per taxon and redox was not measured, but all the remaining factors were analysed in a similar way. Bacteria was counted for each sediment layer after staining with Acridine Orange.

OriginatorsGhent University, Department of Biology, Marine Biology Section
OrganisationGhent University, Department of Biology, Marine Biology Section
AvailabilityBy negotiation
ContactProf. M. Vincx

Ghent University, Department of Biology, Marine Biology Section
Krijgslaan 281-S8


Telephone+32 9 264 52 10
Facsimile+32 9 264 85 98
Collating centreBelgian Marine Data Centre (BMDC)
Local identifier11024003
Global identifier1046
Last revised2009-08-10