Benthic invertebrates as indicators of organic pollution in the western Baltic Sea

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The quantitative distribution of some important benthic invertebrates in a shallow inshore area of Kiel Bay (Western Baltic Sea) is described. This region is partly polluted by domestic sewage from the municipality of Kiel. Three groups of species are distinguished with reference to their densities and other population parameters in the different subareas: Progressive species of the 1st and 2nd order indicate a high and moderate to slight degree of pollution respectively by high population numbers. Regressive species are adverse indicators, absent or occurring in exceptionally low numbers in affected areas. In many cases the examination must be concentrated on sand bottom, because a series of species normally dwelling on aufwuchsbuild up dense populations in sand, if it is organically enriched. The polychaetes Capitella capitata, Nereisdiversicolor and Polydora ligni are regarded as progressive species of the first order. The amphipods Corophium insidiosum and Gammarus salinus, the mussel Mytilus edulis, the polychaete Pygospio elegans, the snail Hydrobia ulvae, and some other invertebrates belong to the group of indicators for slight organicpollution. The main regressive species are the amphipod Bathyporeia sarsi and the mite Copidognathus fabriciusi.

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Peer revision
ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Cite as
Anger, K. (1977): Benthic invertebrates as indicators of organic pollution in the western Baltic Sea , Internationale Revue der gesamten Hydrobiologie, 62 , pp. 245-254 .


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