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Helgoland Marine Research

Open Access

Periodic and episodic benthos recruitment in southwest Mecklenburg Bay (western Baltic Sea)

  • J. Prena1,
  • F. Gosselck2,
  • V. Schroeren3 and
  • J. Voss3
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen51:BF02908750


Temporal changes in the zoobenthos of southwest Mecklenburg Bay were studied using routine survey data collected in 1980–94. Earlier studies suggested that long-term oxygen deficiency on the scale of several months affects the zones below 20 m depth. Episodic benthic recolonization occurred during periods with improved oxygen conditions, as a rule by opportunistic polychaetes followed by some actively immigrating adult species. However, these observations were restricted to central and southern Lübeck Bay. Our recent data indicate that benthic recolonization exhibits greater regularity along the northern shore of Lübeck Bay. Special wind conditions and water exchange processes in the western Baltic Sea are likely to displace the deep water in northern Lübeck Bay more rapidly than in the southern zones. By means of multidimensional scaling, two types of episodic recruitment are identified in the benthos that are probably related to enhanced nitrogen discharge through river runoff in the winter and exceptionally weak water stratification in the summer.


Benthic CommunityEast WindWater StratificationMacoma BalthicaTransform Abundance Data