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Soft bottom macrobenthic communities in a semi-enclosed Bay bordering the English Channel: The Rade de Cherbourg

  • Baux, Noémie
  • Pezy, Jean-Philippe
  • Bachelet, Quentin
  • Baffreau, Alexandrine
  • Méar, Yann
  • Poizot, Emmanuel
  • Guyonnet, Benjamin
  • Dauvin, Jean-Claude
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2017
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This study aims to identify the composition and the distribution of macrobenthic communities in the Rade de Cherbourg (RdC), on the north coast of the Cotentin Peninsula (Normandy, France). The results show the presence of six main benthic communities: (1) Crepidula fornicata banks in coarse mixed sediment, (2) Amphipholis squamata and Apseudopsis latreillii in mixed sediment, (3) Melinna palmata in muddy sand, (4) Melinna palmata in mixed muddy fine sand, (5) Spio decoratus in fine sand and (6) Spio decoratus and Apseudopsis latreillii in very fine and fine sand (from EUNIS classification). The RdC appears as a rich soft bottom macrobenthic habitat in a semi-enclosed bay, surrounded by hard-bottom environments. However, current and future projects related to human activities (harbour extension, salmon farming) could impact the benthic communities. Moreover, the structure and composition of the muddy fine sand and fine sand communities, which are dominant within the area of the RdC, show similarities with comparable communities found in the western English Channel under the influence of Atlantic waters.

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