Biotic typology of polish marine areas based on bottom macrofauna communities
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The aim of this study was to develop methodological assumptions of the biotic typology and, based on these assumptions, determine the biotic types in the Polish Marine Areas. The biotic typology proposed in this paper is based on the analysis of the structure and the classification of macrozoobenthos. This group of organisms can be regarded as the main component structuring the biotic types due to their sedentary way of life and less susceptibility to spatial and seasonal changes compared with pelagic biota. Soft and hard bottom sediments occurring in the Polish Marine Areas were taken into consideration. The basic criterion of the biotic typology was to identify the predominant components of the seabed zoocoenoses – animal species and communities, from which the biotic type takes its name. As a result of the classification process the Polish Marine Areas were divided into six sub-areas of different environmental characteristics (a type of sediment, salinity and water dynamics); each of them inhabited by different macrozoobenthos communities. Consequently, the following biotic types were determined: I) Chironomidae-Oligochaeta, II) Macoma balthica-Marenzelleria sp., III) Bylgides sarsi-Macoma balthica, IV) Hydrobiidae-Cerastoderma glaucum, V) Pygospio elegans-Hydrobiidae, VI) Mytilus trossulus-Gammaridae. The proposed typology is the first comprehensive attempt at classification of the Polish Marine Areas taking into account both biotic and abiotic elements of the marine environment.
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