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Fenske, C., Dahlke, S., Riel, P., Wozniczka. Dynamics of mussel beds in the Szczecin Lagoon. In: Schwarzer, K., Schrottke, K., Stattegger, K. (eds.). From Brazil to Thailand - New Results in Coastal Research. Coastline Reports (16), pp. 49-54. EUCC - Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V., Rostock, 2010.


Mussel beds play an important role as secondary hard substrate both in the North Sea and in the Baltic Sea. Many species live on them, stabilise the sediment and foster bentho-pelagic coupling. In the very eutrophic Szczecin Lagoon at the German-Polish border, zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) might help to restore more natural conditions by filtering and thus cleaning the water. In preparation for a pilot project for biological restoration methods using zebra mussels we wanted to evaluate the mussels’ status quo. We therefore mapped the current distribution of zebra mussels in the Szczecin Lagoon in summer 2007, using underwater video imaging, a scientific SCUBA-diving team and benthos samples taken with Van Veen grabs and box corers.

Apparently the mussel beds have strongly decreased in size over the last 14 years. This could be due to the high trophic state in combination with global warming, causing temporal oxygen deficiencies. Other reasons may be strong predatory pressure or methodical differences in preceding studies. We plan to continue investigating the dynamics of mussel beds in a German-Polish interdisciplinary project.
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