[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
The influence of oxygen distribution in a shallow water on the spatial distribution of the macrobenthic fauna has been investigated. We studied both the bathymetric and the vertical distribution in the sediment in order to assess the biological importance of oxygen microstratification. Oxygen concentrations in the water column were measured with a Clark Au-Ag electrode (WTW EO 196). Oxygen concentrations at the sediment-water interface and in the sediment were measured directly in core samples with Clark-style micro-electrodes (Diamond 737GC). Our results indicate that the composition of the macrobenthic community is well correlated with the bathymetric distribution of oxygen in the water column. However, some burrowing chironomid species appear to be dependent on the oxygen at the sediment-water interface. Our conclusion is that the respiratory environment of benthic animals (cf. Brundin, 1951) is broader than expected, very specific, and linked to their vertical distribution in the sediment.
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