A multidisciplinary approach for a better knowledge of the benthic habitat and community distribution in the Central and Western English Channel - Normandie Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Marine Science and Engineering Year : 2022

A multidisciplinary approach for a better knowledge of the benthic habitat and community distribution in the Central and Western English Channel

Abstract

About 80% of the seabed of the English Channel (EC) is covered by coarse sediment, from coarse sand to pebbles. Quantitative data on the benthic macrofauna in these types of sediment remains are rare due to the difficulty of using grab corers in such hard substrates. The deepest central part of the EC (45-101 m depth) was prospected during two VIDEOCHARM surveys in June 2010 and June 2011 to increase knowledge of such sublittoral coarse sediment benthic habitats. Sampling focussed on a longitudinal transect in the deepest part of the EC (13 boxes), extending from the western approach to the Greenwich meridian. Both indirect (side scan sonar, Remote Operated Vehicule) and direct (grab sampling with benthos determination, and grain-size analyses) approaches were used and combined, permitting description of the benthic habitats and communities using seven methods. Five benthic EUNIS habitats (European Nature Information System) were reported: MC3215, MD3211, MC4, MC3212 and MC4215, of which two extended main habitats (MC3211 and M23212) corresponded to an eastern/western gradient from sandy gravel to sandy gravel and pebbles sediment. Three other spatially discrete habitats were associated with poor coarse sand and gravel habitats as well as sandy gravel and pebbles with the presence of the brittle star Ophiothrix fragilis. Taxonomic richness of both extended habitats was on the same order of magnitude as the coarse sand habitat reported elsewhere in the EC, whilst the abundances were among the lowest in deeper areas with low nutrient input and low primary production. The epifauna appeared relatively homogenous in this type of sediment at the scale of the sampling area and was not determined to assign a EUNIS habitat/class. ROV footage illustrated the presence of large epifauna and provided valuable information to ground truth in other sampling methods such as side scan sonar mosaic. Grab photos showing surface sediment was relevant to determine the sediment type, whilst granulometric analyses gave additional information on fine particles content (typically very low).
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Dates and versions

hal-03770389 , version 1 (06-09-2022)

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Jean-Claude Dauvin, Jean-Philippe Pezy, Emmanuel Poizot, Sophie Lozach, A. Trentesaux. A multidisciplinary approach for a better knowledge of the benthic habitat and community distribution in the Central and Western English Channel. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 2022, 10 (8), pp.1112. ⟨10.3390/jmse10081112⟩. ⟨hal-03770389⟩
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